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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if this man lived in an apartment that means other people livedvery close by, did not anyone hear these dogs barking so they could of gotten out of there right away and not wait till they where starving to death, what don't people give a shit anymore. those dogs had to have been barking for someone to help. come on


The big thing here is if - if convicted, he can be fined up to $2,000 and face two years in prison. Unfortunately, in this world, animal cruelty isn't important in the court of law. This guy deserves to be beaten to death for what he did to those poor dogs. Thankfully they were rescued and hopefully they will both find loving homes.


I don't understand why people own pets if they legitimately don't care about them?!?! It makes me sick reading stories like this. I'm in 7th grade, so I can't afford to donate to the ASPCA. If I had the money, I would definetely donate as much as I could every month, but since I don't get any allowance, it's basically impossible.


I work for Safe Harbor Animal Rescue and we have so many dogs and cats that are from horrific situations. Many are adoptable, but sadly, many will never be able to be adopted. We have a sanctuary in Palm City, FL. that caters to these animals. People don't realize that animals reaction to neglect and abuse may stay with them forever. Before you decide to get pets, make sure you can take care of them first. They are expensive and require lots of love and attention for their entire lives.

Patrick Oliver

Get well you two!

paticia levy

i am so glad that you did all that to save them and i hope that the man goes to jail. that is mean, cruel, and selfish. thank you for helping these puppies.


I thank god that Jack & Jill were saved and that Jill was adopted. I pray that Jack finds a loving home and family that could give him the life that he deserves. I don't know how someone could be so heartless and crul. These animals love you unconditionally. What is the world coming to..If we had stiffer laws maybe then they would think twice about being so crule to animals. I agree he should do jail time and charged a minimum 3 yrs for each count. More depending on the severity of the crime and rehab and if that doesn't work then he should be put away for a very long time. There should be a website for these animal abusers with their photo's listing the nature of their crime just like a pedifiler so that people are aware. Theyshould not be allowed to have pets.

Momina Bhatty

This is cruelty, man. people should think before they do this stuff!!!!! im eleven, but these dogs are even tinier than me, its so sad.


I just got a puppy and I can never leave him alone...when ever I
Can bring him I do...I will never do this to any dog..


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.<a href="">visual impact muscle building review </a>