Elmore SPCA hoping to adopt out rest of 'Gem' dogs

May 4—PLATTSBURGH — Twenty of the dogs that were seized from the Beekmantown animal rescue, A Canine Gem, in February still need to be adopted.

Executive Director for the Elmore SPCA, Rebecca "Becki" Moss-Patnode, said she is happy with the number of dogs adopted so far.

Those interested in adopting can find the available dogs on Elmore's Petfinder page and can apply at: elmorespca.org.

In total, nearly 50 dogs had been seized from the A Canine Gem facility after they were reportedly found in deplorable living conditions that included being crammed into small cages with bare cement floors, which caused many to have injuries and issues to their paws.

After being evaluated by a veterinarian, many of the dogs were determined to be malnourished. Several dogs also had to undergo treatments for serious ailments such as heartworms.


Since the seizure on Feb. 26, the dogs have been housed at the Clinton County Jail in a cell pod that is not being used for inmates, because Elmore SPCA did not have enough space at their shelter in Peru.

Elmore SPCA staff have since been nursing the dogs back to health and adopting them out as soon as they were ready.

"So there's 12 left at the jail; there's four here at the shelter; four that are in foster; and two that have passed away," Moss-Patnode said.

"Twenty-six have been adopted."

The four at the shelter currently are in the middle of heartworm treatments but she said they are available for adoption. Any potential adopter would just have to continue and follow the outlined treatment plan, in which all costs would be covered by Elmore.

"So if somebody's willing to do that, they are welcome to take them home."

She said they are hoping to have the rest of the dogs at the jail out and in the shelter — if they're not adopted already — by mid-May.

"We have no problem with that ... they've been very, very accommodating to us," she said.

"I feel bad for some of the CO's (correction's officers), though. We see the same faces every day and they really seem to enjoy being down there with us."

Elmore has held two meet and greets at the jail in an attempt to get dogs adopted out; each meet and greet resulted in two and eight adoptions, respectively.

The staff at the jail were responsible for several of the adoptions prior. Moss-Patnode adopted a dog, named William, as well.

"We are hoping to adopt them out from the jail directly and not from here because it really stinks to have them in a huge cell and then bring them into a small kennel."

Bringing in 12 more dogs to the shelter will have challenges. As it is, Elmore is already full, Moss-Patnode said.

A tour of the facility quickly confirmed this as dogs and cats of all sizes — many of which were brought in as strays or part of animal cruelty cases — already call the small shelter home.

"We're kind of trying to figure that out," she said, of bringing the jail dogs to the shelter. "There's a shed that we can convert temporarily, maybe. I don't know."

Other area shelters, which are full themselves, may be able to take in one or two dogs as well, she said.


Moss-Patnode is hoping to raise enough funds in the near future so they can build a new shelter and avoid a situation like this in the future.

A new, bigger shelter will also help Elmore meet the guidelines of the state's new "The Companion Animal Care Standards Act for Shelters and Rescues" legislation, which is set to take effect in December of 2025.

As previously reported by the Press-Republican, under the legislation, all New York animal shelters and rescues will be required to be licensed by the Department of Agriculture and Markets and thus, forced to follow new care standards for their facilities.

The legislation specifically calls for shelters or rescues to make improvements to "the physical plant at licensed facilities including indoor building surfaces, drainage, electrical power and emergency back-up, water and sewer, air handling systems, ammonia levels, noise levels, animal housing, isolation, lighting, and vermin and pest control."

Additionally, the number of animals housed will not be able to "exceed the number of humane housing units available."

The state has a pool of $5 million for shelters to apply for but Elmore would be facing competition from every other shelter in the state for those funds.

Moss-Patnode said to meet these guidelines and build the shelter they want, they will have to start a capital campaign with hopes of raising $4 million.

"Materials are expensive, contractors are expensive," she said. "I think that it's going to be really expensive."

"We're just trying to get through this situation at the jail and then we can kind of turn our focus back, because ... we were gearing up really strong for the new legislation and then this all happened and obviously, our focus needed to go elsewhere."

Email: cnewton@pressrepublican.com

Twitter: CarlySNewton