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Animal Advocates Speak Out At Herkimer Woman's Court Case

Barbara Smith, the woman charged with two dozen counts of animal cruelty was back in court Tuesday afternoon. In mid-October humane officers removed 12 dogs from her Herkimer home. She appeared in the Town of Herkimer Court to answer the charges Tuesday.
Barbara Smith, the woman charged with two dozen counts of animal cruelty was back in court Tuesday afternoon. In mid-October humane officers removed 12 dogs from her Herkimer home. She appeared in the Town of Herkimer Court to answer the charges Tuesday.
Smith came to court Tuesday afternoon but her controversial case was adjourned until January 14th. But she was not alone in that court room. Animal rights advocates from across county lines showed up to make sure the dogs that they say were abused get justice.
"For them to have gone through this they deserve some kind of justice and we would also ask that Ms. Smith does not get any dogs in the future,” says Laura Harding of the Herkimer County Humane Society.
Harding saw first-hand what the 12 dogs went through. She was one of the humane officers who pulled them out of Smith's house on October 12th. She says it was not a pretty sight.
"They were in terrible living conditions, terrible body conditions,” said Harding.
On November 8th smith was arrested on 12 misdemeanor accounts of animal cruelty. She was then arraigned and released on R.O.R. Before her case was adjourned Tuesday, the Herkimer County D.A. and judge ordered her to take the one dog she still owns to the vet as soon as possible and not to obtain any more animals while the case is ongoing. Animal rights advocates are none too happy that Smith still has a dog.
"I drove by a sign that said 1,000 dollar fine for littering, really, a thousand dollar fine for littering but you can still keep a dog when you're being punished and there's no fines to go with it?" says Founder of Lainey’s Army Kimberly Strong.
They also say they came to court to push for tougher laws on animal abuse.
"There needs to be harsher punishment because right now, oh well, I didn't feed my dog it goes to the humane society it's re-homed, there's no long lasting penalty,” says Johanna Stock, an animal advocate for Pause 4 All Paws.
"I really would like to see this woman punished, well, to the fullest extent of the law, which doesn't mean a whole lot, so the laws do need to change and the quicker the better,” says Susan Gokey, Board President of the Herkimer County Humane Society.
Wednesday night many of these same animal advocates will be at the open public forum being held at M.V.CC. Assemblyman Anthony Brindisi will be there along with the Oneida County D.A. to discuss issues of animal cruelty and laws in the area.

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