08/13/2013 10:32 am ET

24 Puppies Dumped Along New York Roads Because Pet Shop Owner Barred From Selling Them: Police


A pet shop owner staged a burglary and dumped 24 puppies along area roads because his wife's earlier animal cruelty charges temporarily barred them from selling animals.

Police rescued all but five of the puppies in Plattsburgh, N.Y. this week, according to the Press Republican, and 19 of them have already been adopted. Five pooches are still missing. Meanwhile, Northern Puppies shop co-owner Michael Staley has pleaded not guilty to 24 counts of animal abandonment.

The rescue operation began in late July when an unnamed employee at the shop arrived to find the place had been burglarized. Two dozen puppies between the ages of 8 weeks and 6 months were missing. She called police.

An ensuing investigation allegedly found that Staley had staged the break-in because his wife was already under fire for animal cruelty. Tammy Staley, the registered owner of Northern Puppies, was charged in early July in connection to the mistreatment of kittens, the Press-Republican reported at the time.

Townspeople worked with Plattsburgh police to find the lost pups -- while simultaneously working to get Northern Puppies shut down, according to Facebook -- and was able to track down 19 of them, according to a press release.

It's a heartbreaking week for puppies.

In Georgia, authorities say a man was arrested for beheading two puppies. A neighbor told reporters that he put the pups in Robert Davis' care for two days. He was stunned when Davis told him the dogs were dead. Davis reportedly hasn't said why he committed the alleged crime.



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