Who, age What Where When Last Known Address
Dawn Verdeschi, 43 39 dogs found on 2 properties in deplorable conditions

Durham, NY

Green County

February 9, 2014  
Type of Crime Other Crimes #/Type of animal(s) involved Case Status Next Court Date /Courthouse


39 German shepherds, 7 pups & 1 cat Alleged


On Sunday, February 9th, the Sheriff's Office executed a search warrant in Durham, NY, after receiving a report of possible neglect from a landlord who found dozens of dogs who were said to be living in horrible conditions, inside of a rental home.

Responding deputies discovered 39 dogs, described as German shepherds, who were living on 2 properties, 1 of which was owned by a suspected breeder, 43-year-old Dawn Verdeschi.

Photo courtesy of the dailyfreeman Verdeschi's breeding operation was discovered by the owner of the house, Deborah Albanese, who visited her rental house that weekend.

Albanese described her disgust over the conditions that she found inside:

Deputies from the Greene County Sheriff's Office and the Columbia-Greene Humane Society found deplorable conditions inside where the dogs were being kept.

Greene County Sheriff Greg Seeley stated, Verdeschi refused to voluntarily surrender the dogs so the deputies seized them.

On February 10th the Columbia-Greene Humane Society stated, Verdeschi is facing multiple charges following the seizure, including animal cruelty.

Update 2/10/14:
The odor of urine and feces was so overpowering inside 596 Morrison Rd that SPCA employees felt their eyes burning after just a few minutes inside, Chief Investigator Lee DeLisle said. When investigators opened the front door at 221 Hervey Sunside Rd, the pungent smell drifted to the street.

The SPCA seized 32 adult German Shepherds, 7 German Shepherd puppies, and 1 cat, DeLisle said. There were no deceased animals on the premises, and no animals remain. Several of the dogs appeared to be thin, while others appeared to be a healthy weight, DeLisle said. A veterinarian will examine all of the animals.

Photo's courtesy of The National Dog News Examiner

An anonymous tipster alerted the Greene County Sheriff’s Department to the situation on Saturday, February 8th, Senior Investigator Sean McCulloch said. A warrant allowed them to seize the animals. The owner – characterized by DeLisle as a breeder -- was arrested on a charge of failing to provide proper food and water, McCulloch said. Additional charges were pending.

The dogs, which ages ranged from 2 weeks old to 7 years old, were living in their own waste in small crates. All dogs were found to be dehydrated and thin. Verdeschi was charged with one count of animal cruelty, with an investigation into the situation continuing.

Both properties, which were located around the corner from each other.

Ralph Nemeth, who lives nearby, said he was pleased to see the dogs go. Nemeth said he was concerned for their well-being, and worried they would harm his family. "They run all over my property," Nemeth said. "They chase my children. And they chase my stepfather around, who is 80-years-old and just had a stroke." Nemeth said he had called the police several times in the past. The situation would improve for several weeks then worsen. Nemeth said he was not the tipster who alerted authorities this time. Nemeth said, to his knowledge, a man owned the dogs. DeLisle, the SPCA investigator, confirmed that authorities were planning to interview a man, as well. "I'm glad it's over because I'm glad nobody got hurt," Nemeth said. "None of my children got hurt or bitten, or my parents … I'm glad that it all basically worked out for the best."


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