Who, age What Where When Last Known Address
Terence L. McGlashan, 53 scamming pet owners in the burial of their animals from the Saratoga Count Animal Shelter

Saratoga Springs, NY

Saratoga County

December 1, 1997 - October 1, 1999  
Terence L. McGlashan, 53 scamming pet owners in the burial of their animals from the SPCA of Upstate New York

Hudson Falls, NY

Washington County

December 1, 1997 - October 1, 1999 Saratoga Springs, NY
Terence L. McGlashan, 53 scamming pet owners in the burial of their animals from Whiskers Inc.

Albany, NY

Albany County

December 1, 1997 - October 1, 1999 Saratoga Springs, NY
Terence L. McGlashan, 53 scamming pet owners in the burial of their animals from Adirondack Save A Stray

Corinth, NY

Saratoga County

December 1, 1997 - October 1, 1999 Saratoga Springs, NY
Terence L. McGlashan, 53 scamming pet owners in the burial of their animals from the Ayres Memorial Animal Shelter

Sprakers, NY

Montgomery County

December 1, 1997 - October 1, 1999 Saratoga Springs, NY
Terence L. McGlashan, 53 scamming pet owners in the burial of their animals from the Central Vermont Humane Society

Montpelier, VT

Washington County

December 1, 1997 - October 1, 1999 Saratoga Springs, NY
Terence L. McGlashan, 53 scamming pet owners in the burial of their animals from the Berkshire Humane Society

Pittsfield, MA

Berkshire County

December 1, 1997 - October 1, 1999 Saratoga Springs, NY
Ralph Seaman, 49 (2) operating a landfill without a permit

Saratoga Springs, NY

Saratoga County

December 1, 1997 - October 1, 1999  
Type of Crime Other Crimes #/Type of animal(s) involved Case Status Next Court Date /Courthouse
Felony operating a landfill without a permit 40,000 animal carcasses, dogs cats, rodents & raccoons


(2)Fined $1,000

Saratoga County Court

Robert Frechette is a bull of a man. Thickly bearded and wearing a black denim jacket that strained to conceal his solid build, he hardly appeared the emotional type. But at the arraignment on November 7th, 1999 of the man accused of tossing Frechette's beloved dog in a pit with thousands of other carcasses, the Schenectady man was in tears, too emotional to describe his loss. And he was mad.

"Hey, you remember him? You remember dumping him? Huh?" he called, holding out a photograph as Terence L. McGlashan hustled out of Saratoga County Court. McGlashan had to duck to avoid the picture of Sinbad, Frechette's snow white malamute-golden husky mix who died Labor Day weekend and was found three weeks later in a massive animal graveyard.

McGlashan, 53, was charged with one count of felony scheming to defraud in connection with the discovery of as many as 40,000 carcasses in open pits on farmland in southern Saratoga Springs.

Authorities say McGlashan charged at least 19 veterinarians up to about $130 per animal to cremate dead pets and then paid landowner Ralph Seaman $2 per animal to dump the bagged remains into large pits.

McGlashan pleaded not guilty in front of County Judge Jerry J. Scarano Jr. The Canadian citizen, who has permanent resident status here, was released on his own recognizance after Scarano ordered his passport be turned over to authorities.

McGlashan, a licensed cremator and animal hauler, is due back in court on January 8th. His license to cremate or haul dead animals has been suspended.

McGlashan said nothing as he hurried to and from County Court, led by his lawyer, John J. Carusone Jr. of Saratoga Springs. In court, he answered, "I do" and "That is correct" to questions posed by Scarano.

In the superior court grand jury indictment, McGlashan is accused of dumping the remains from December1st, 1992, to October 1st, 1999. The case is being prosecuted by state Attorney General Dennis C. Vacco's office.

"Mr. McGlashan's motive in dumping the animal carcasses instead of following through with the cremations he promised was a combination of expediency and greed," Vacco said in a prepared statement. Though he may have thought he found the road to riches, the path he took - the path of greed -ultimately led up to these courthouse steps today."

The six-week investigation by Vacco's office, launched by Saratoga Springs code enforcement officer Kevin Veitch and city police investigator Bruce Cogan, included state Department of Environmental Conservation wildlife pathologist Ward B. Stone, the State Department's Division of Cemeteries and the Department of Health. Stone's office has collected a large quantity of evidence.

Rocky Piaggione, chief of Vacco's Environmental Crimes Unit of the Criminal Prosecutions Bureau, said further minor charges could be pending in the case but declined to discuss specifics. He did say there is no evidence that either Seaman or any of the veterinarians who did business with McGlashan had knowledge of the alleged fraud.

According to sources who asked they not be identified,Seaman will be in City Court on November 15th to answer charges of operating a landfill without a permit. The violation of environmental conservation law carries a maximum fine of $1,000-$2,500 and/or up to 15 days in jail.

Piaggione said the animal dumping goes back at least 30 years when the Seaman family had an arrangement to take carcasses from another local veterinarian, Harry E. Hansen of Ballston Spa. In fact, Piaggione said, Hansen introduced McGlashan to the Seaman family.

The pits were discovered by a jogger September 23rd, 1999 on Seaman's farm at the end of Old Ballston Avenue. In addition to household pets such as dogs, cats and rodents, the pits contain wildlife including the headless carcasses of raccoons that have tested positive for rabies.

DEC's Stone has examined large burial pits and exhumed numerous carcasses. He also has uncovered medical waste including syringes and household waste including envelopes, memos and labels bearing McGlashan's name.

Several animals have been discovered with tags or tape inscribed with "M.C." indicating a mass cremation was ordered for the pet, according to Stone. Some were slated for private cremation.

One of those pets was Sinbad, Robert Frechette's 10-year-old malamute. The dog, who had cancer, was euthanized over the Labor Day weekend at the Schroon River Animal Hospital in Lake George.

Frechette was billed $132 for a private cremation and was awaiting the return of his dog's ashes when he learned of the animal graveyard. The first pet owner on the scene, Frechette was horrified to see Stone pull Sinbad's body - still wrapped in an Adirondack Bar and Grill T-shirt - out of one of the black plastic bags.

He did not pay the bill and eventually had the dog cremated elsewhere. "He kept telling me the ashes were in storage," Frechette said of McGlashan. "I trusted him."

Frechette said McGlashan should be spared jail and instead forced to pay to clean up the site. He also would like to see a memorial to the dead pets be established on the farmland.

Update 11/11/97: The landowner who buried thousands of animals in massive graves was fined $1,000 for operating a landfill without a permit. Ralph Seaman, 49, will have to help clean up the animal graves and his 500-acre farm off Old Ballston Avenue can never be developed, elements of a plea bargain reached with Attorney General Dennis C. Vacco's office.

The agreement also stipulates that he can never apply for or acquire a cemetery license issued by the state.

Authorities said Seaman had no knowledge that the animals he was burying, and sometimes just dumping into huge pits, were supposed to be cremated by another man, Terence L. McGlashan, with the ashes being returned to their owners.

Seaman was charged under Part 360 of the state's Environmental Conservation Law for dumping medical and household waste without a permit. He pleaded guilty to the violation in front of Saratoga Springs City Court Judge Douglas C. Mills and paid the fine.

Assistant Attorney General Rocky J. Piaggione said Seaman will face no other charges. "This is part of a larger case and Mr. Seaman has been totally cooperative in assisting us with this case," Piaggione said. "In fact, he may have been following through on what was allowed 30 years ago." The deed restriction preventing development will follow the land through any sale, Piaggione said.

Piaggione said evidence that Seaman had no knowledge of the fraud for which McGlashan is charged includes the fact that Seaman reported the income from the pet burial every year.

Under the plea bargain agreement, Seaman must cover the open pits with soil, subject to the DEC's approval.

Two pet owners who had pets that were supposed to be cremated by McGlashan were in court and called for the site to be a memorial to the dead pets. Brandy, Kathleen Murphy-Eddy's 130-pound Bernese mountain dog, died suddenly July 24 at the age of four. Distraught over her pet's untimely death, she paid for a private cremation so she could retain his ashes. When word of the scandal broke, she asked Stone to examine the ashes and the pathologist found traces of cats' bones in with her dog's ashes. "We were devastated by his death," she said. "I didn't think I could have closure without the ashes."

Murphy-Eddy and Robert Frechette, a Schenectady man whose Malamute-golden husky mix, Sinbad, was supposed to be cremated but ended up in the pits, say the arrests, fines and agreement that the land not be developed are a good start. Both, however, said they want more out of McGlashan.

"I don't believe he should be walking the streets," Murphy-Eddy said. "It was never about the money," Frechette added.

Update 11/14/97: The Department of Environmental Conservation has outlined three options for cleaning up an illegal pet cemetery on a farm in Saratoga Springs. The options range in cost from $59,850 to $211,000.

A 14-page memorandum dated November 6th from the Department of Environmental Conservation discusses three options for cleaning up about one acre of Ralph Seaman's farm at 344 Old Ballston Ave., where up to 40,000 pets were dumped over the past 30 years.

The least-expensive option, that of covering up the animal graves - and some medical waste buried there - with soil and installing wells to monitor water around the site, is estimated to cost $59,850.

"We're still reviewing the plans but, obviously, we've got to make a decision fairly soon," said Gary Sheffer, a DEC spokesman. "From a staff standpoint, the option of capping it in place is where we might be leaning."

The other two options are:

* Removing all the animal carcasses and medical waste for proper disposal elsewhere, refilling the land and installing the monitoring wells at a cost of $211,100.

* Removing some of the carcasses and waste, refilling the land and installing the monitoring wells at a cost of $139,650.

McGlashan is due back in Saratoga County Court on Jan. 8.

Update 1/8/98: The case of a man accused of dumping thousands of dead animal into pits on a piece of farmland remained up in the air after a conference involving his lawyer, the state attorney general's office and the judge hearing the case.

Terence L. McGlashan did not attend the conference presided by Saratoga County Court Judge Jerry J. Scarano Jr. to discuss the contents of a probation department report that recommended possible terms of a guilty plea.

Assistant Attorney General Rocky Piaggione, handling the case for Attorney General Dennis C. Vacco, said it was unusual that the defendant was not at the conference. "Certainly, you would think the defendant would have an interest in what's going on," he said. "I think he may have gone out of state to work because he can't work in New York state."

John Carusone Jr., the Saratoga Springs lawyer representing McGlashan, confirmed that his client is out of state but said he didn't know where and didn't know what he was doing for work. Carusone also said McGlashan's attendance at the conference would have served no purpose.

"I did not advise my client to stay away," Carusone said. "He would not have been allowed in anyway. We were just going to be in chambers. If it were open court, then it would be different - you would want to have your client in there."

Piaggione said the ball is now in McGlashan's court. Carusone said he had not spoken with his client, had not shared details of the probation report and had not plotted his next move. "We'll get back to court in a couple of days," Carusone said. "If there's going to be a trial, that would be down the road." The case now proceeds as any other criminal prosecution would, according to Piaggione.

"There will be some more discussions," Piaggione said after the brief conference. "We're going to proceed to aggressively prosecute this case. We'll proceed with our investigation and make sure we have sufficient evidence. I feel we have a strong case and I intend to get a conviction."

Piaggione said that while there is always the possibility of a plea bargain, no deals were offered at the table. And, while the probation report can serve as a guideline for plea bargains, Scarano is under no obligation to accept any part of its recommendations, Piaggione said.

Pet owners who gathered inside the courthouse made it clear they want no part of a plea bargain. Still stinging from the realization that their pets' remains may have been unceremoniously dumped in a pit, they are seeking the maximum penalty of jail time, fines, restitution and, eventually, deportation for the Canadian citizen.

"This really hurts. It was a horrendous fraud," said Ed Tangorre of Nassau. Tangorre paid a total of $435 to have three dogs cremated through McGlashan and now doubts that his wishes were carried out. Jail time is the least they should do," Tangorre said, adding that he and other pet owners would seek involvement from the U.S. attorney's office if satisfaction is not available at the state level. "He's defrauded thousands of people," Tangorre said. "Why should we give him a break; he never gave any of us a break."

Piaggione has said the animal dumping goes back at least 30 years, when the Seaman family had an arrangement to take carcasses from another local veterinarian.

Update 1/28/98: McGlashan was sentenced to six months in jail, fined $5,000 and ordered to donate $25,000 to animal shelters.

McGlashan was also ordered to serve five years' probation, help pay for the cleanup of the farm in Saratoga Springs where the pets were dumped, and is permanently barred from operating a pet cemetery or pet crematorium in New York state, according to the state Attorney General's office. Cleanup costs of the property on 344 Old Ballston Ave. are estimated at more than $100,000.

On Tuesday, McGlashan pleaded guilty to scheming to defraud before Saratoga County Court Judge Jerry J. Scarano Jr. "Mr. McGlashan had to learn the hard way that greed doesn't pay," Attorney General Dennis C. Vacco said in a statement. "I hope he reflects on that - and on the anguish he caused numerous pet owners through his fraudulent activities - as he sits in jail." He is to begin serving his sentence at the Saratoga County Jail on Monday.

McGlashan offered no apology in court. His attorney, John J. Carusone, said McGlashan accepted the plea in order to put the matter behind him. "He needed to get on with his life. This has been a matter that has gained a great deal of publicity, most of it adverse to him," Carusone said.

McGlashan, who worked as a salesman for a veterinary supply company, once had protesters demonstrate outside his home and typically had a number of pet owners show up at his court appearances, Carusone said. "There was some question whether we could get an impartial panel of jurors," he said.

One woman who routinely attended the court dates, Betsy Frechette of Schenectady, said she was happy about the publicity. Without it, McGlashan might have avoided going to jail, she said. "I'm glad he is getting jail time. I wish it were longer, but I'm satisfied," Frechette said. Frechette said the prosecutor, judge and probation officers seemed to be very understanding of the loss that the pet owners felt.

But one animal welfare activist said McGlashan's sentence was inadequate. "He should've gone to jail for a year for each animal he threw away in that dump, which would've put him away for life," said Phyllis Shulman, a founder of the Saratoga County Animal Welfare League. "I'm sure he bought his house on North Broadway with all the money people paid to have their pets cremated, and he should lose his house."

Carusone said he does not know where McGlashan will get the money to pay the fines, the contribution to animal shelters - which will be chosen by the Attorney General's office - and the cleanup costs. "He can't write a check for that amount today, but he'll have to make some arrangements somehow," Carusone said.

A final plan for the cleanup of the site has not been determined, but is likely to include covering the pits with a thick layer of soil, planting vegetation and installing monitoring wells, Carusone said.

Update 1/28/98: Police said they are investigating a possible attempted arson at the Old Ballston Avenue farm. Two 12-ounce soda bottles filled with rubbing alcohol and topped with cloth wicks were found near Ralph Seaman's farm house at 344 Old Ballston Ave .according to Sgt. Nicholas D'Alessandro of the city police department.

Seaman apparently found the incendiary devices near one of his buildings shortly before 8 a.m. Sunday, police said. The two bottle bombs were not lit and there was no fire or damage done by the handmade devices. Police are viewing the find as a "possible arson attempt," D'Alessandro said. Authorities have no motive for the placing of the devices near the Seaman residence.

McGlashan is currently serving a six-month sentence in Saratoga County Jail after pleading guilty to scheming to defraud.

Pet owners were incensed that the cremated remains given them were not of their pet but sometimes just fireplace ashes. The pet owners held peaceful demonstrations during McGlashan's court appearances, urging the courts to send McGlashan to jail for many years.

Update 4/7/98: Lawyers for McGlashan and the state Attorney General's office have a conference scheduled before County Court Judge Jerry J. Scarano Jr. at 9:00 a.m. Wednesday. The conference was requested by McGlashan's defense attorneys, said Joseph Mahoney, a spokesman for Attorney General Dennis C. Vacco.

The attorneys plan to discuss concerns about McGlashan's plea agreement, Mahoney said. "We want to make sure that he complies with the terms of his probation and the plea agreement, and that the site is properly monitored," Mahoney said.

In addition to a six-month jail sentence, McGlashan's plea agreement calls for him to pay a $5,000 fine, donate $25,000 to local animal shelters, and pay for the clean up of the farm where the pets were buried. Clean-up costs for the property on 344 Old Ballston Ave. could exceed $100,000, depending on the scope of the work.

The attorney general's office will be represented by Assistant Attorney General William Gritsavage, Mahoney said.

McGlashan remains in the Saratoga County Jail with a scheduled release date of June 2nd, jail officials said.

Update 4/9/98: State officials are satisfied that the man who admitted burying thousands of pets in mass graves will follow through on plans to clean up the burial site, an assistant attorney general said Wednesday. After a 25-minute meeting with County Court Judge Jerry J. Scarano Jr. and the lawyer representing McGlashan, assistant attorney general William Gritsavage said he is confident McGlashan will fulfill the terms of his sentence. "The purpose of the meeting was to ascertain whether or not there were steps being made in compliance with the plea bargain agreement," Gritsavage said.

Gritsavage said no work could be done during winter months on the site of Seaman's farm at the end of Old Ballston Avenue. "Hopefully, within the next two months, at least it will be started," he said. "We want to make sure what has to be done will be started." If McGlashan fails to comply with the terms of his sentence, his probation could be violated, Gritsavage said.

Both Gritsavage and John Carusone Jr., McGlashan's lawyer, were surprised by the media scrutiny of such a minor procedural step. A handful of pet owners who did business with McGlashan and have carefully watched the case from its inception waited outside County Court to learn the outcome. As has been the norm in the highly-publicized matter, rumors flew and several of the pet owners said they heard McGlashan was going to get a reduced sentence as a result of the meeting.

Gritsavage said that will not happen. McGlashan's 181-day sentence will be complete on August 1st. but jail officials have said he would be released June 2 with time off for good behavior.

Gritsavage also denied claims by one pet owner that McGlashan had referred to the waiting public as "a bunch of nuts." He may have told Saratoga County Sheriff's deputies that he didn't understand what all the media attention was about but never disparaged the pet owners, he said.

Update 9/22/98: One year later, cleanup continues. Kathleen Murphy-Eddy remembers learning that Brandy Bear, her beloved Bernese Mountain Dog, had not been cremated individually as she had been promised. Brandy Bear had been cremated with other animals, the ashes mixed together and parceled out to grieving pet owners. She wasn't sure the ashes she had even belonged to her dog. "It's still a horrible thing," Murphy-Eddy said Tuesday. "It's a lot better now after a year has gone by. Time heals all wounds."

Officials from Attorney General Dennis C. Vacco's office and from the state Department of Environmental Conservation say they're satisfied that work is proceeding at the proper pace.

Three monitoring wells dug at the site have determined that there is no contamination of groundwater and an engineering proposal has been submitted that, if approved, will keep groundwater from becoming spoiled in the future.

"It sounds like they are moving forward," said Sam Thernstrom, a DEC spokesman. "A contractor has submitted an engineering plan to cap the land and we hope to be able to have that work started this fall."

Seaman apparently is behind in the work he promised he would do to cover the open graves, according to Vacco spokesman Joe Mahoney. About three-quarters of the work has been done, and a letter will go out this week to Seaman instructing him to complete the work within 30 days, Mahoney said.

McGlashan has moved to Orlando, FL. area. The fines have not yet been paid but McGlashan has until January 27th - one year from his conviction date - to pay, Mahoney said. John Carusone, the lawyer who defended McGlashan, said his client has met every condition of the plea bargain so far and will continue to do so. The move to Florida was approved by the county's probation department, according to Probation Director Paul Viscusi.

The furor has mostly died down, local veterinarians said. But during the highly-publicized case, pet owners worried openly about the fate of their companions.

Update 4/22/99: The following shelters are grant recipients:
Saratoga County Animal Shelter ($4,000)
SPCA of Upstate New York, Hudson Falls ($3,800)
Animal Welfare League of the Greater Capital District, Albany ($3,800)
Whiskers, Inc., Albany ($3,800); Adirondack Save A Stray, Corinth ($3,800)
Ayres Memorial Animal Shelter, Sprakers ($3,800).

The Central Vermont Humane Society in Montpelier, VT and the Berkshire Humane Society in Pittsfield, MA, each received $1,000 grants.

Attorney General Spitzer today issued checks totaling $25,000 to eight pet shelters in the Capital District region and western Massachusetts and Vermont, funds paid by the defendant in an animal burial scheme in Saratoga County that victimized thousands of pet owners.


The Daily Gazette ag.ny.gov