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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This ignorant, uncaring person deserves to go to jail and pay the fine, both!

Scott Champion

What is wrong with people today

Lisa D'Ambrosio

I boggles my mind how anyone could do that. Take them to the shelter if you can't find anyone to take care of them!!! So glad this story had a happy ending for those 2 cute little dogs!!

Dave hill

I'm just so happy for one that there are so many careing people still out there like all of you that added your comments about these two poor little angels that were left to die a most harable death,and two that as I write this comment , those same two little angels are living happy and healthy lives. As for the person responsible for this act, do unto him the same treatment!!!!!!! If I were able I would show no mercy what so ever. I believe it is time for the human race to stop allowing these sick individuals just a slap on the hand with no real punishment, if that person did this to a child it would have been all over the news, but because it was two puppies nobody hears about it. As for the one comment that said fear and pain are no way to raise any living creature , I agree BUT, there are points at which people cannot be reconditioned to the way they were brought up, and therefore should not become the reason why so many animals and yes people should have to suffer.

John W. Cassell

There is a special place in Heaven for the ASPCA volunteers and workers. My two rescue doggies remind me of that every day. I am a Guardian so I can at least help them with contributions.


Thsnk God, these precious dogs, were found alive, close to dying, but were saved.!!!! Animals do so much to save,and help humans, its horrific, sad, inhumane, to harm, neglect, abandon, starve, and murder or attempt to murder them.!!!!!! This owner/perp, deserves as much jail time as possible.!!!!! And to be banned from ever owning any animals the rest of his life.!!!!


It's very simple. People who do this have no empathy--it's why it's completely predictable that if someone abuses dogs they will abuse people. They do not feel the other's pain in any situation.


How difficult would it have been to drop these babies off at a shelter?? I hate people sometimes (correction, often).

catherine chandler

So glad they were both adopted. As for the owner all they will give him is a slap on the wrist and possibly pay a fine? I think after all these dogs went through that's not enough. He should spend the 2 years in jail and not allowed anymore animals ever. The law threats these abusers to easy and they don't think what the animals went through. They should ALL get Jail time.


This man should either have to do the community a service for once week for the rest of his life and never ever be allowed pets again and if caught with a pet of any kind them death row is the only place for him.
prison with three meals a day would be too good for someone like this.
Animal cruelty is wrong. If he couldn't afford the dogs them he should have taken them to the shelter or never had them in the first place.