Animal shelter owner arrested in connection with Oneida Co. animal mistreatment case

Published: Feb. 17, 2017 at 7:36 AM CST
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The owner of the animal shelter where nearly 40 dogs were seized earlier this month was arrested Thursday for failing to provide food or water, mistreating animals, and obstructing law enforcement.

Stephanie Schneider is currently being held in the Oneida County Jail.

The Oneida County Sheriff's Office was following up on tips of animal neglect and malnutrition at the "It Matters to One" animal shelter in Sugar Camp, Feb. 6.

Investigators stated past employees, volunteers, and citizens who have adopted or considered adopting had shared information about possible neglect to the dogs.

During an inspection of the facility, dogs were found that needed medical attention.

The dogs were also in need of food and water.

39 dogs were removed so that they could be medically evaluated.

Most of them were taken to the Oneida County Humane Society, some were immediately treated by veterinarians.

After the dogs were seized, Schneider released a statement on the animal shelter's Facebook page.

Part of the statement read:

"While it is extremely unsettling that someone would accuse us of neglect, we would like to make it known that we rescue animals from high-kill shelters and undesirable circumstances because we believe every dog deserves the best quality of life possible. They do not always arrive to us in good condition. Over the past 4 years we have placed hundreds of dogs into loving homes, dogs who were minutes from being killed, aggressive dogs, dogs who were injured, sick, neglected, pregnant, abandoned and abused."

All of the dogs remain in the care of the Oneida County Humane Society.

When the dogs were taken in, the humane society was in need of supplies to help care for them.

Director Bria Swartout says the public showed amazing support, donating dog food, paper towels and other needs.

Swartout says they have two storage containers full of supplies, but they are still in need of financial support for the dogs.

She says, she doesn't know what will happen with the dogs long-term.

Schneider's first court appearance is Feb. 27.