ASPCA Makes Arrest in Case of Starving Puppies Abandoned in Apartment

Monday, January 14, 2013 - 1:00pm
Jack before and after

Photos: [top] Jack and [bottom] Jill, before and after receiving treatment at the ASPCA Animal Hospital.

Can you imagine leaving your pets behind in your former home, even in the worst possible circumstances? We can’t either. And yet, after Jerome Smith, 23, was evicted from his Harlem apartment, he chose to do just that to his six-month-old puppies.

When New York City Animal Care & Control officers opened the door to Smith’s former home in September, they found Terrier mix puppies Jack and Jill, all alone and in bad shape.

The officers called ASPCA Humane Law Enforcement, and our agents brought the pups to the ASPCA Animal Hospital right away.

ASPCA veterinarians found Jack and Jill to be dehydrated, malnourished and severely underweight. Jack weighed 12.7 pounds and Jill weighed 8.5 pounds. By contrast, after being fed a balanced diet and receiving treatment by ASPCA staff, Jack now weighs 36.5 pounds and Jill weighs 30.3 pounds—a 187 and 256 percent increase, respectively.

The ASPCA arrested Smith in December. He was charged with two counts of misdemeanor animal cruelty. If convicted, he faces up to two years in jail and/or a $2,000 fine.

Jack and Jill's story ends happily. On January 13, Jill was adopted! Jack is waiting for a forever family at the ASPCA Adoption Center, located in Manhattan. To learn more about how you can adopt Jack, please visit the ASPCA Adoption Center online.

Update 1/18/13: We are thrilled to report that Jack was adopted!

If you suspect you’ve witnessed animal cruelty, please report it.

Jill before and after

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Roger L. Cotterman

I would like the see the abusers of animals treated the way that they have treated the animal, with no BS outcries from human rights groups. These people need to understand that if they abuse an animal they are going to jail, get a fine and be banned from having animals for the rest of their lives.


There is a direct correlation between animal abuse and abuse of children. Those who abuse animals will in-turn abuse children. The are directly linked.


They should not give a slap on the wrist. Let him stay a long time in jail for what he did. There are prisoners that are animal lovers if they found what he had done to these angels.


This is just deplorable. One of my rescue kitties was abandoned in an apartment where the maintenance crew found him. He is such an awesome little guy. For many people, animals are like trash... disposable when they are done with them. We need much stricter penalties.

Tricia Rickard

too bad someone didn't take both of them - everything they have been through together - I would have taken both! Just sayin'


The penalties need to be much stifffer. How long before we take seriously the connection between animal cruelty and other offenses. Look at what just happened in Jersey. The man was killing cats before he stabbed that woman in Bed Bath and beyond.


why would this be a misdemeanor????
what is wrong with the State of New York that they would not have laws mandating stricter punishment for this type of crime!!


I have absolutely ZERO tolerance when it comes to animal cruelty. I wish the person(s)who is guilty of such inhumane acts as starving their pets - have to endure the same torture for the same amount of time the pets did. There is ABSOLUTELY NO EXCUSE for animal cruelty! NONE WHATSOEVER!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Ingrid E. Albrecht

Immanuel Kant stated, "We can judge the heart of a man by his treatment of animals." It is obvious that this man has NO HEART. I agree that the punishment for animal cruelty is not harsh enough. These crimes continue and often lead to abuse of humans. It should be dealt with immediately and in a much harsher way.

Jaded Mage

Why did this moron get these animals in the first place? People who can sleep at night after doing something like this own a special place in hell...