Over 40 animals taken from property

NORTHAMPTON – Fulton County sheriff’s deputies announced this morning they helped rescue more than 40 animals from a town property.

In a news release, Fulton County Undersheriff Kevin Lenahan, deputies were asked to assist in checking a home at 1472 Route 30 on Tuesday night.

Deputies found several animals living in a confined, feces-filled space in two trailers, Lenahan said.

Vernon Duesler III, the animal control officer for the town, said the conditions were “unlivable.”

“Just living in deplorable living conditions; just horrible,” Duesler said.

Lenahan said there were numerous dogs and cats living on the property, lacking water and proper ventilation. Feces and insects filled portions of the living space. The dogs were put in cages, stacked two or three high, with four dogs to a cage, he said.

Duesler said the temperatures in the two trailers could get as high as 150 degrees.

Roughly 30 dogs, seven puppies, a dozen cats and a rabbit were found at the home.

Duesler said the majority of the dogs were Chihuahuas or mixed-breed dogs. Several of the dogs also appeared pregnant, he said.

Faith Betler, who was living at the site, is currently under investigation for the conditions, the release said.

A veterinarian was brought to the scene last night to check the animals as they were brought out, Duesler said.

Fulton County District Attorney Louise Sira said this morning the property had previously been condemned and Betler was asked to leave the home.

The release said the investigation is ongoing, but Betler has turned over her animals voluntarily.

Betler has spoken with deputies, Sira said.

“She was not charged yet, the investigation is still ongoing,” Sira said.

Sira said it is possible Betler could be charged with cruelty to animals for failing to provide a safe shelter.

The dogs were turned over to Helping Paws Rescue of Broadalbin, where they are available for adoption.

Lenahan said a few animals were taken to receive medical care as well as well.

“One had what appeared to be an open wound on his leg and he was taken to the vet,” Lenahan said in the release.

Duesler said this was not his first encounter with Betler.

According to Duesler, he had previously asked Betler to reduce the number of animals she had, counting 16 dogs during his last visit. Duesler said at the time she complied, finding new homes for four dogs.

Arthur Cleveland can be reached at acleveland@leaderherald.com