Goat case gets Humane Society attention

The national office of the Humane Society has taken notice of the dead goat case in the town of John

The national office of the Humane Society has taken notice of the dead goat case in the town of Johnstown and sent a letter to prosecutors urging “aggressive investigation and prosecution,” if warranted.

Fulton County District Attorney Louise K. Sira said she received the letter from the Humane Society of the United States. She said a course of action in the case was formulated after she consulted with both Fulton County SPCA Director Sharon Hayes and Sheriff Thomas J. Lorey.

While about 40 dead goats were found on the Firebreak Road goat farm of Robin Dillenbeck, 54, of Edick Road, the circumstances constitute neglect rather the cruelty. As a result, Dillenbeck was charged with misdemeanor animal neglect, because the situation did not rise to the animal torture described in the state’s Buster’s Law, Sira said.

“It is important these cases are handled on a case-by-case basis,” said Sira. She said the Humane Society letter seems to reflect the organization’s national agenda, rather than a specific local case.

Sira said authorities are taking this case seriously, but she said the plan to enforce a remedy on the farm is currently the best approach.

Dillenbeck is scheduled to appear in Town Court later in the month.

Hayes could not be reached Friday for comment about the Humane Society letter, but after the discovery of the dead goats, she said that the 150 surviving animals were too infested and parasite-ridden to mix with healthy animals. Dillenbeck was ordered to bury the dead animals and obtain proper nourishment and vet care for the survivors.

Days after the discovery, officials said she had made sufficient progress.

But in its letter to Sira, the Humane Society said “in severe animal neglect cases, strong carefully considered sentencing that includes incarceration, psychological treatment and a ban on owning animals is the most effective available tool for reducing recidivism and interrupting the cycle of criminal behavior.”

Dillenbeck does not have a telephone number listed and has not been reached for comment.

Categories: Schenectady County

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