Monday, January 16th, 2017

Saving Scooby – Brought back from the brink of death after being seized in an animal abuse case

When police and animal control officers are finished with charges against the owners/homeowners involved in the abuse of animals and the seizure of the maltreated dogs, cats, and farm animals, the case is closed. That is, unless you happen to be one of the seized animals, often starved near death, coated with assorted vermin and diseases and all too often neglected from good human contact.

When police and Wayne County Animal Control officers found dead and dying animals in a January 2010 raid in a trailer home on Ridge Road in the Town of Huron, they were faced with how to deal with the sudden rush of animals to local shelters.

It was determined that one of two horses found on the property were emaciated. In one of the barns on the property, a dead goat and a dead duck were located. Two dogs were located inside the barn, both suffering from extreme emaciation and dehydration. A third dog was located in a kennel behind the barn and it too was emaciated and suffering from dehydration.

All 14 animals were removed from the property to the care of the Wayne County Humane Society. A veterinary exam showed that the animals suffered from dehydration, were underfed, and suffered from intestinal parasites. Despite medical efforts, one sick dog found lying on some clothes was removed from the bedroom of a 9 year-old girl; her bed covered in animal urine and feces. That dog died 12 hours after it was rescued.

One of the dogs, an Amatolian Shepard with the fur of a Husky was severely emaciated and failed to even lift his head with the investigator’s coaxing. It felt its life was over. “You could feel its skin and bones under the fur. It was just awful,” recalled Deborah Kitto of Highland Fruit Farm Road in the Town of Lyons.

No one gave Scooby much of a future. Humane Society of Wayne County Director/Wayne County Animal Abuse Investigator Mark Plyter, thought the dog was a sure goner that would be dead in days, if not hours.

Fortunately, Wayne County is blessed with people and facilities with enough patience and love to bring back the sparkle in may abused animals’ lives. They foster animals back from the brink, and put faith back into system that all too often discards the sick, unwanted dogs, cats and farm animals.

Scooby was one of the lucky dogs from that case in January of 2010. First, the Humane Society of Wayne County is one of those facilities that does not euthanize animals simply because they run out of kennel space. Animals are saved with the likes of people such as Debbie and places like Wayne County’s Cracker Box Palace, who willing to take in abused animals and restructure their habits and lives.

Scooby was fed and brought back from the brink. Next the heartworm- positive dog was treated, then neutered. With love and positive reinforcement, Scooby today is part of the Kitto family of dogs, cats, horses, cows, goats ducks and chickens, most of whom were rescue animals.
Scooby takes his place next to Dobbie, another rescue dog with medical problems that Deb fostered back from an unadoptable food bowl-aggressive animal to a loveable happy pet. Although the Kitto family does not often adopt a foster pet, Deb’s husband, Gerald, now considers the two dogs his companions.

As for all the other animals that survived the Wolcott abuse case, all but the one dog survived and found homes. Deb said it is not unusual for pets in the news to find a second life, but in the Wolcott case 100% never returned to a shelter life and stayed adopted.

Think you have what it takes to help a dog or cat in the steps of recovery or as a stepping stone to a new home? The Humane Society of Wayne County is looking for foster parents. Currently, Mark Plyter said there are 10-15 active foster homes in Wayne County. “We have two dogs with heartworm that need to be placed,” said the Director. People interested in the foster family pet program can either call (315) 946-3389, or go online to and fill out an application.