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 is a case of someone that was too lazy to do the right thing. It makes me sick and I could not deal w/ these low life people on a daily basis. I give the humane officers and all that save animals a big hug for what they do each and every day. We are blessed to share our lives w/ animals. It's a shame that many see them as "just dogs" or "just cats" "just etc...."

Kevin Weaver

I'm reasonably sure that many reading this feel as I do about these atrocities. They bring me literally to tears. I think in the short term, as a society we have to put in place laws that prevent animals of any kind even falling into the hands of humans who will abuse them in any way, shape or manner. It has been proven that the sick individuals that exhibit this kind of cruel behavior with animals usually go on to doing things like killing people -- even becoming serial killers. I agree wholeheartedly that in the long term, the only way we will get a handle on these problems is by educating the young properly. The major problem that we face today is that there is an enormous number of really sick individuals running around who could care less about any other living creature whether it be a dog, cat, human, you name it. Along the same lines of thinking we have to eliminate the possibility that firearms fall into the hands of these scumbags. I mean turn on the TV any day of the week and you will hear any number of horrible stories each one worse than the one before it. So, collectively as responsible and caring human beings, we unfortunately need to keep an eye open for any kind of "sick" behavior and deal with it very harshly before it escalates into something that threatens life or limb. Today's laws are pathetically lenient when it comes to animal abuse and MUST be changed to be much more severe -- thankfully we are headed in that direction, but on the other side we are allowing wolves to be legally shot for no other reason than they strayed out of the confines of Yellowstone Park. This makes sense?? Come-on people please look around and do what you can for all the great organizations that help protect innocent animals. They all desperately need your support. No, I don't work for any of them.
"The greatness of a nation and its moral progress can be judged by the way its animals are treated." How great are we if we don't hold those accountable who mistreat our animals?"


Jerk!! I have 2 wonderful dogs and my family and I love them so much and since we are moving and most rented places don't accept animals i would NEVER EVER abandon my dogs or give them up to animal shelter and we did find a place to stay where they accept dogs and I can't imagine ANYONE doing that to poor poor animals they can't talk they can't walk like us!


I am a member and am proud to say that nobody in the world should do animal abuse. It's not right and against the law. What has the animal ever done to you?


how could someone be so cruel people think dogs are trash i have 2 dog that i rescue from the street they bring joy to my life so that guy need to be put in jail with no food


Yes, we have seen this. We had an appraisal business that called for us to physically visit houses. We found houses where people had moved out and left and the dogs sitting in the front yard. It was hard to coach them away from their former home because they were so loyal and still waiting for their family to come home.

Anneliese Thompson

Thank you ASPCA for rescuing these puppies. I could never leave my animals behind but many people do it without even blinking an eye. That's where you come in - ASPCA - you are my heroes!




I hope he gets thrown in jail. More people who are cruel to animals should be thrown in jail. Just wish the two pups could have been adopoted as a pair.

Darlene Jones-Martin

Maditory Jail time and Manditory fines for cruelty towards animals.