On Wednesday, following an investigation by State Police and Wayne County Animal Cruelty Investigators, a Town of Rose couple was arrested after a complaint was received about an abused black German Shepherd.
John J. Salamone, age 49, and his wife, Bonnie L. Salamone, age 50, of Wolcott Road in Rose were each charged under the State’s Agriculture and Markets Law with one count of the Misdemeanor of Overdriving, Torturing and Injuring an Animal.
It is alleged that between December 1, 2010 and January 13, 2011, the couple allowed a collar that was too tight on their dog to actually grow into and pierce the neck of the three year-old animal and at the same time failed to provide food for the dog, who Animal Cruelty Officer Tom Littlefield estimated was about 30 pounds underweight.
According to Littlefield, the dog, who he renamed “Shep”, required hundreds of stitches to close the inch deep gapping wounds in his neck. Littlefield said that when he went to investigate the abuse, he could smell the rooting flesh on the dog before he even caught sight of the animal.
Upon discovering and seizing the animal, Shep was taken to the Lyons Animal Hospital for treatment. “They were wonderful. Dr. Connie Renno and the staff stayed late and had to cut away dead flesh that was dripping some nasty puss. The dog was very listless and lethargic when I brought him in and he smelled so bad I had to drive with my windows down,” said Littlefield.
In statements to State Trooper Thomas Shamp, John Salamone said the reason the couple did not take the animal to a vet was because they did not have the money for treatment. Salamone admitted he could smell the dog’s flesh rotting. “Yes, he (the dog) was in the house about two weeks ago, but I thought he had poop and pee on him. That’s when I took his collar off, but the skin must have peeled off with it.”
Tom held on to the dog at his residence in Macedon, where it began gaining weight. After twelve days it had gained four pounds and was well on its way to recovery. “He (Shep) is like a different animal now.” Shep continues to heal and is currently being treated by Dr. Renno for heartworm, as his former owners never put him on a preventative medicines.”
John and Bonnie Salamone were arraigned before Rose Town Justice Gary Poole and remanded to jail on $500 cash/$2000 bond and will reappear in Rose Town Court on March 7.
Littlefield said that Shep’s future looks good and that Dr. Renno’s mother has adopted Shep from the Humane Society of Wayne County.
“There are however, still many, many other great dogs and cats at the Humane Society that need permanent homes,” reminded Littlefield.