Letter to the Editor: “Save the Bethlehem 63”

Dear Editor,

Convicted of 15 counts of animal cruelty in Bantam court stemming from his arrest in 2012 on 63 counts of animal cruelty Frederick Acker, SPCA (not affiliated  with  the ASPCA) is appealing a ruling from  a separate civil  case  involving these 63 dogs.

Per  the judge in that case “the large dogs don’t feel the cold as much as the smaller dogs,” and custody of the large breeds was ordered  returned to Acker. Not content with this ruling,  Acker appealed and all 63 dogs remain in state custody.

Acker’s  attorney has stated that the appeal process could take up to 5 years with the Town of Bethlehem paying the boarding fees, vet bills during this time.  No financial responsibility has been assigned to Acker.   The dogs, all 63 of them, will continue to be held in limbo until the appeals process is exhausted by Acker.  A possible five year sentence behind bars, no hope of adoption.

I am appalled that the legal system will be manipulated, submitting these dogs to further cruelty.  It is cruelty to consign dogs that are adoptable to life in a kennel.

No matter what kennel they are in now,  they are well taken care of but they are still being denied the “forever” home they deserve.   Most of these dogs, if not all, came out of high kill-shelters where euthanasia was their possible fate.  How many of these dogs because of Ackers “right” to exhaust the appeals process will die in their present shelters of illness or old age without having the second chance at a home does not seem to matter to Fred Acker.  He has rights and the dogs have none.  I believe euthanasia would have been far more kind  for these dogs than the fate that now awaits them.

Acker will also appear in Milford court  on February 21st  to submit his plea on 17 additional charges of animal cruelty from an unrelated seizure.

Cecelia Brothwell

Related Story: Convicted of Animal Cruelty: Still “Rescuing Dogs”