Police: 2 cited for animal cruelty in Elmore

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ELMORE — Two were cited for the offense of cruelty to animals following an investigation in Elmore this month.

On May 1, authorities say they were notified of an emaciated abandoned Pitbull that was located at the intersection of Brown Hill Road and Eagle Ledge Road.

With the assistance of the public through social media and local community resources, the owner of the dog was identified as Tara Smith, 30, of Morrisville.

Police say that Smith had possession of the dog beginning in the fall of 2021.

During ownership, Smith deprived the dog of adequate nutrition resulting in the dog becoming emaciated as well as inhumanely containing the dog in unsanitary living conditions.

On May 1, Michael Phair, 32, of Johnson, a relative of Smith, removed the dog from the home, acknowledging the dog’s condition, and deteriorating health, and abandoned him on the side of the road where the dog was found by a passerby later that afternoon.

Combined efforts with the Lamoille County Sherriff’s Department, the Wolcott Animal Control Officer, and the North Country Animal League, the dog was surrendered by Smith and is now being cared for by the NCAL.

Smith and Phair were each cited to appear in court on July 27 to answer the charge.

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