Local Animal Rescue Under Fire for Shelter Conditions
An email and video calling for action to ''save these dogs from their life of misery'' and to shut down a Utica animal shelter are being sent to area residents, including a video of dozens of dogs (approximately 100 or more) who are cared for at the Road to Home Rescue Support.
Update: On Wednesday Keeler in the Morning spoke to Oneida County District Attorney Scott McNamara who said his office was in the midst of an investigation into Road to Home Rescue Support - Listen to the interview at the bottom of the page.
The email blasts the shelter's operator, Kim Strong - also of Lainey's Army - as a liar who portends to be an animal abuse advocate, and says 'Road to Home Rescue' is unable to properly care for the dogs in their custody:
Road to Home Rescue and Kim Strong do not have veterinary, adoption, euthanasia or financial records. Kim Strong lives in the facility full time and has no license, vehicle, credentials. She relies on a small, sporadic group of volunteers to take care of the dogs. It has been documented that a maximum of 1-6 people at most are at the facility "helping" Kim Strong "take care of" these dogs and cover up the situation. a handful of people arriving sporadically is not enough to care for 118 dogs properly. Dr Lawton, veterinarian of Vernon, NY is supposedly responsible for the care of these animals. He also needs to be held accountable for turning a blind eye to this suffering for the money he receives. Throughout the video, it is obvious that feces and urine have not been cleaned for some time. At 10 minutes of interaction/walking/cleaning per dog per day, it would take ALL day (18 hours) to keep up with walking and sanitation of the facility. Open bags and bins of moldy and urine soaked dog food can be seen. Large rats are visible throughout the dog areas, and the ACO stated that "NO DOG SHOULD LIVE IN THESE CONDITIONS" Very few water bowls are seen. Many of these dogs are going crazy from being locked in tiny cages 24/7.
Road to Home Rescue says it provides ''a safe haven for animals that are typically overlooked by other rescue organizations, such as seniors, those with special needs and/or medical issues and those with behavioral issues that require rehabilitative work and training'', according to its website.
Just last month, Keeler in the Morning spoke to Strong about complaints regarding the conditions at their facility on Broad Street. Keeler received an anonymous letter, making many of the same claims included in the above email snip.
April 2, 2019 Interview with Kim Strong
At that time, Strong said RTHRS in Utica cared for about 80 dogs and that she had more than dozen volunteers at the facility each of two previous days to care for them. Of the dogs she cares for, Strong said most have behavior issues and need rehab and proper training. She said those who pass a 'K-9 good citizens test' could be adopted again in the future.
And, of the criticism, Strong says the complaints come from people who 'get mad' at the shelter and spread lies about her and Road to Home.
"They're the same letters...copy and paste,'' Strong said.
The email circulating this week begins and ends by urging people to call the Oneida County District Attorney and the Oneida County Executive's Office to save the dogs and to have the shelter shut down.
Update: On Wednesday Keeler in the Morning spoke to Oneida County District Attorney Scott McNamara who said his office was in the midst of an investigation into Road to Home Rescue Support: