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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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I'm so glad that arrested that dirtbag. I hope they give him the maximum sentence for this. My neighbors left their dog to fend for herself and I fed her until she was picked up by animal control.


I think the punishment should be much more severe

Karen Blasius

I truly believe there is a special place in hell for anyone who abuses an animal or a child because neither one really defend themselves.

Lisa Carnley

I agree with all of the comments made above. This is why I am a member of the ASPCA and give my monthly gift. These poor babies need our help because so many monsters like this guy are out there, but the punishment does need to be worse or it is never going to stop!!

Denise Latimer

These poor innocent animals' suffering at the hands of this callous, heartless individual is horrifying and absolutely a premeditated criminal act. Two years is NOTHING and they will probably let him out in a few months. Anyone that would do that to innocent creatures totally dependent upon him - lock the door and leave them to die a slow, agonizing death from dehydration and starvation is a heartless monster. Lock him up and deprive him of water and food and maybe it will knock some sense into him. What a despicable, disgusting excuse for a human being. We must stiffen the laws for animal abusers - make it a felony and give them a solid 10 years for 1st offense, 2nd offense - throw away the key! They don't deserve to be amongst society.

Adam Jasmick Jr.

Just as some humans should never be parents, there are people who should never be "parents" to animals. It may sound unrealistic, but
with the downturn in the economy and millions of families losing their homes and/or jobs, those with animal companions who are part of the "family" should take time to call for HELP. Animal Humane Societies and Animal Rescue Groups can be called for help. Abandoning a "family member" is not the act of someone who truly cares for the welfare and safety of a feeling creature.
Thank God for the ASPCA. Wish more towns and cities were able to do more for abused, neglected and abandoned animals.

Elizabeth Williams

Our Creator looks down and hates what cruel people do to innocent animals. See Proverbs 12:10. These people are accountable to God.

End Animal Abuse

I whole-heartedly agree not only on stiffer penalties for animal abusers (many who often go on to abuse humans) but also a national registry database of convicted animal abusers which could be checked whenever they wanted to try and adopt. it wouldn't stop back alley breeders just selling animals for the cash with no interest in the animal's welfare, but perhaps such a database would raise even more awareness.


What always strikes me about adandonment stories is how long it takes to find the animals. How did no one know? The landlord never visited the apartment? The dogs never barked and made someone wonder? You usually know if your neighbor has dogs. I would notice if my neighbors left and didn't come back! We need to be more conscious of the world around us and act, rather than assume that someone else will.


Thank goodness these pups were rescued. I have no respect for anyone that treats animals poorly! I have shelter dogs, a pom and a "puppy mill " english bulldog. I also have 3 horses i rescued from the slaughter pen and 3 mistreated donkeys. How anyone can kill and eat a horse is sick!! I am a staunt advocate for animal rights!!!