The seizing of dogs and cats has also led to considerable expenses for the SPCA shelter, where the animals often get boarded, nursed back to health and fed after they are taken away from the owners, officials said.
While county finances have been strained in recent months, the pressure on the county treasury is expected to ease once the sale of debt-ridden Otsego Manor nursing home is completed.
The county is also expected to get an infusion of funds when the assets of the regional trash authority known as MOSA are liquidated. Otsego County has determined it wants to set up a private-public partnership to manage its own waste management system.
Schhoharie County Sheriff Tony Desmond said his county looked into creating an animal cruelty office several years ago but it never got off the ground.
“I think it’s a great idea,” Desmond said when told the proposal is drawing early support in Otsego County. “It’s important to have someone with expertise in animal cruelty. I wish them good luck in working on that.”
The Susquehanna SPCA ended up with dozens of sick and malnourished dogs in January 2012 after they were seized from South Side Dogs, a Worcester kennel owned by Frank Popolizio of Schenectady
Last October, Popolizio, 67, pleaded guilty to felony charges of ripping off his customers and vendors, and was ordered not to be involved with selling animals for five years.