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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Judy Lamon

Thank you, ASPCA, for saving and restoring Jack and Jill. I am so thankful that they have found good homes. You must get people to work on stronger legislation for animal cruelty. In my state we at least got it changed from a misdemeanor to a felony. One of my cats was left behind outdoors when one of my neighbors moved. They told me they were taking her with them, but they didn't. It was heartbreaking to see her waiting on their front steps every day for them to come home. I took her fresh water every day and then started taking her canned food at night and guarding it while she ate so no other animal could come and get it. Then over the 4th of July weekend I didn't see her for about a week. Found out that another neighbor had turned her in to the shelter here and told them she was a stray. I was LIVID! Went to the shelter and told them she wasn't a stray but had been abandoned by her owner. Then I had to pay to adopt her and get her out of there. I didn't need another animal but I couldn't leave her there. She didn't understand why she was locked up in a cage. I have another neighbor who has the most gorgeous Boxer. Her name is Jo. She was rescued. She had been abandoned and left behind in an apartment without food and water. People who treat animals this way should absolutely have the same fate. A fine is not strong enough and neither is jail time.

Linda Peterson

I will never understand how someone can do this to these innocent babies. If the ASPCA hadn't gotten to them, they would have died a horrible slow death. That's why to me the punishment isn't tought enough, this lowlife left them to die. People are getting more abusive with animals and I think the punishment needs to get tougher. These puppies are like children, they need someone to care for them. They are not "just animals" they are loving and loyal and their life MATTERS. Hold that guy responsible for what he did. Sometimes I wish it was an eye for an eye, then the shoe is on the other foot.So happy those babies have a new home.


People need to do the right thing I cant imagine that no one ever saw these dogs and yet they chose not to speak out shame on them as well!!!

Amy Trosino

Thank you so much, ASPCA, for taking such tremendous care of these wonderful pups, and thank you to the adopters who took them into their homes! All the best and lots of love to Jack and Jill!

Carol Dolan

This is just another case where the only real way to get your point across is take this scumb bag lock him somewhere and let him starve.......only this time no one goes back

Patricia Toth

Let the punishment fit the crime. I have no use for anybody who hurts animals, children or old people who are defenseless. I can't even tell you what I would want to happen to them.


What is wrong with our society and the world? We are all here together, we need to help each other and be thoughtful of each. No matter where you where raised or how you were raised isn't it common sense or a sense of duty to other living beings, not to hurt them or abandon them. They can not go beg at the corner or drive to the grocery store food. They were locked in an apt. with no way to try and fend for themselves. You are an incredibly selfish and evil idiot. We don't need people taking up space with that kind of mentality.


These rotton people get away with these crimes constantly and something really needs to be done about it.
Jerome Smith from Harlem, that's where you're from, suffer all the days of your life for doing what you did to those defenseless animals that didn't deserve that and rot in hell. You'll get just rewards someday in this life, I assure you that.


I wanted to add to my last comment on this lowlife nothing person, they should leave you in a room, without food and water and let you shit and piss all over your ugly self.
Thank goodness for the ASPCA and that's why I support them.


That's to ya'll alot of dogs and cats are saved. ASPCA has a place in heaven. Great job!