Authorities from the Schenectady County Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals discovered a storage unit in Duanesburg, N.Y. on Friday containing 13 Chihuahuas stuffed into four crates. There was no air conditioning, food, or water for the animals.
On Wednesday authorities arrived at a trailer home of Catherine Wallace located at 3868 Western Turnpike in Hillcrest Commons to investigate complaints of foul odors and the possibility of an illegal puppy mill. Wallace would not allow officers to enter her home. Authorities were prepared to obtain a search warrant.
When authorities entered the premises a day later, conditions were described as deplorable. Six dogs and a cat were found in the house, but unfortunately that is not where the story ends.
Golden Self Storage is located next to the Wallace’s home. It is believed Wallace’s son Michael moved the 13 other dogs to a storage unit on Wednesday after the SPCA threatened to return with a warrant. Luckily it was a cloudy day, and the storage unit stayed rather cool.
On Friday Sean Golden’s Labrador retriever led his owner to Unit 78, a 10×15 storage unit where Golden heard barking and crying. Golden called the state police who ordered the lock cut off and found the Chihuahuas living in cages filled with feces and urine.
Michael Wallace has been charged with 13 counts of impounding animals with no food or water. Catherine has been charged with 20 counts of animal cruelty.
All charges are Class A misdemeanors.
The SPCA has confirmed that Catherine Wallace has been cited for animal violations in the past and is asking anyone who may have information regarding past experiences with Ms. Wallace to please contact the SPCA on their hotline at 755-9517 where all calls remain anonymous.
The animals are now in the care of Animal Protective Foundation in Glenville and may be available for adoption early next week.