Veterinary experts answered NO, when asked if Mary Stickney’s toy breed dog rescue operation was providing proper care of dogs reasonably necessary to ensure their health. Testimony began Thursday in the Gage County Court trial of Stickney, whose rural Cortland operation was the scene of an inspection last November 2nd. Over 100 dogs were seized from her home. Stickney is charged with 100 counts of animal neglect. The jury trial before four men and two women is being held before Judge Steve Timm.
75 of the dogs were taken to the Nebraska Humane Society in Omaha. Shelter Veterinarian Doctor Amber Horn testified that she had to euthanize one of the dogs for severe congestion, dehydration, seizures and heart arrhythmia. Horn was one of the officials at Stickney’s home the day of the inspection. She testified that of the 75 animals, 44 had evidence of fleas, lice and skin infections, 15 had severe dental disease requiring tooth extraction…while six had signs of highly contagious kennel cough. Horn said the air quality inside the home was “poor”, with the overriding smell of ammonia. Stickney’s attorney, John Sohl, questioned whether veterinarians had enough animal health history and testing of the animals to diagnose them.
Horn, Veterinarian Doctor Robin Dishman and State Agriculture Department Veterinarian Doctor John Boucher all testified that the animals were not provided reasonable care. Dishman, who is Medical Director for the Veterinary Medical Clinic in Lincoln said there was a large number of dogs at the rescue operation….and that feces and urine and a strong odor of ammonia were present in the house. She testified about one dog in a wire crate stacked on top of two other crates…suffering from a contagious ailment caused by an intestinal parasite….called Coccsydia (cock-SID-ee-uh).
Nebraska Humane Society Field Director Kristie Biodrowsky testified that she was responsible for an inventory of animals at the Stickney home on November 2nd. She said officials recorded a total of 104 small dogs. Of those, 75 were taken to the humane society in Omaha, 19 to the Beatrice Humane Society…and 10 to the Capitol Humane Society in Lincoln.