Canal Twp. residents arraigned in animal-cruelty case

The two Canal Township residents who were keeping more than 50 dogs in squalid conditions in a single-wide trailer were arraigned on charges on Saturday.

Barbara Ferguson, 71, and Sam Lopez, 75, were arraigned on a combined 632 charges, ranging from felony animal cruelty counts to violations of licensing and veterinary care requirements.

The dogs were removed from the home in December and taken to the A.N.N.A. Shelter in Erie, where they were evaluated by veterinarians.

According to a criminal complaint filed in the case, the dogs suffered varying degrees of injuries associated with abuse and neglect, including emaciation, parasites, torn ears and infections.

Over the last several months, all but a few of the dogs have been rehabilitated and adopted.

Two had to be euthanized due to behavioral issues.

“They were basically feral,” A.N.N.A. kennel manager Brooke Conner told the newspaper on Monday. “They were a danger to the public. They weren’t able to be rehabilitated.”

Another dog, named Marv, died in the housing facility shortly after rescue.

“Marv was overweight, actually, when we got him,” Conner said. “It could be a number of reasons. I think he was already older to begin with.”

The last two dogs to remain in the care of the shelter are still being rehabilitated in foster care. Conner said they are making progress with socialization.