John Edick called Gloversville’s animal control officer Friday to get help for his dog, a terminally ill Brittany spaniel named Ted.
That call led to Edick spending the weekend in county jail on misdemeanor animal cruelty charges while Ted was euthanized.
According to Sgt. Marc Porter, 52-year-old Edick of Gloversville knew Ted was suffering and hoped to off-load financial responsibility onto the city.
“He was under the impression the animal control officer would just arrive and take the animal away,” he said.
When the officer informed Edick he’d have to pay to get the dog euthanized, Edick allegedly suggested he’d just shoot the animal himself and dispose of the body.
The animal control officer said just shooting the dog wasn’t an option. Edick refused to pay and was promptly arrested, while Ted was brought to the nearby Johnstown Animal Clinic and euthanized at the city’s expense, police said.
Assistant Fulton County District Attorney James Riley, who is prosecuting the case, said the charges stemmed from a combination of Edick’s previous lack of care for the dog and the more recent refusal to pay the euthanizing charge.
“He let it go too far,” Riley said. “Which is why the dog was terminal.”
Veterinary bills can get expensive. Even euthanizing an animal, while cheaper than surgery, comes at a price.
At the Johnstown Animal Clinic euthanizing costs are calculated by the pound of dog. According to an associate Monday, euthanizing most dogs runs somewhere between $52 and $82. Ted was medium sized, so his bill came to $62.
Edick’s suggestion that he’d shoot the dog was judged illegal on several fronts, authorities say. Riley said shooting a dog is prohibited under the state Agriculture and Markets law.
“It has to be proper and humane,” he said. “Shooting a dog in the back of the head isn’t that.”
Besides that, Edick lives in an apartment complex on Bleecker Street.
“He didn’t have a good place to do it,” Porter said. “Imagine him shooting the dog outside by the street. Kids could have seen that on their way to school.”
Also, Gloversville has a local law prohibiting the use of any sort of gun, right down to spring loaded bb guns and paint-ball guns.
“Basically anything that can fire a shot,” Porter said.
Edick was released Monday, assigned a lawyer and told to return to court Feb. 24.
While unwilling or unable to pay $62 to a veterinarian, resolving a misdemeanor animal cruelty charge will likely cost Edick many hundreds of dollars, Riley said.