Packed courtroom for “Naples 85” animal cruelty case

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Owners appear before judge

NAPLES, NY (WROC-TV) — Richard and Jane Justice had over 80 dogs at their home on Lawyer Road, that property now condemned. They are charged with animal cruelty, having canines in neglectful and filthy conditions.

With the courtroom at maximum capacity, Richard and Jane Justice pleaded not guilty at the Naples Town Court during a preliminary hearing to the charges. The trial date has been pushed to next month. 

“Disappointed but not surprised,” says Dianne Faas, Ontario County Humane Society Shelter Manager, reacting to the September court date.

Since the trail is next month, the mission now says Faas, is to find temporary housing for the dogs so they are not overcrowded at the shelter.

“We can still get these animals out into foster homes, that means they will be temporarily housed off-site but that is not a permanent arrangement for these dogs.”

Law enforcement, who went to the Justice’s home, found those dogs in what they say are the worst conditions they’ve ever seen in their careers.

“Anything along these lines of cruelty or neglect is always something that needs to be addressed,” says Mary Nisbet, Director of the Hornell Humane Society. Nisbet adds she was touched by the overwhelming community turnout today.  “Hopefully that will get more people to speak up over the years,” she says.

People are already stepping in to do what they can to help, the Ontario County Humane Society received over $70,000 in donations to help care for the dogs. They say they’re still short of their $125,000 goal and are also asking for additional support, with items like food and blankets. 
As we deplete those items as the dogs go out to foster homes, we’ll be needing those items as well,” says Faas.

The next court date for the couple is on September 26 at 6:30 pm, at the Naples Town Court.

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