AG Tong Moves for State Custody of Neglected German Shepherds Seized in Animal Cruelty Case

Attorney General William Tong this week moved for state custody of 28 neglected German Shepherd dogs seized from a Higganum home in May.

Dean Moore allegedly left his home at 20 Nedobity Road in Higganum on April 18 for a six-and-a-half-week family vacation to the Philippines, leaving 23 German Shepherd dogs in the care of temporary caretakers. The caretakers soon discovered the dogs had been left in unsafe and unsanitary conditions, with inadequate shelter from the elements.

Only weeks before Moore’s departure, two dogs had given birth to a total of 19 puppies, who were kept outside in dangerously cold temperatures and unprotected from other adult dogs. Another dog was pregnant and due to give birth soon. Moore had not left sufficient food for the duration of his absence, and provided no instructions regarding medication for the dogs. Within days of Moore’s departure, six puppies had died, and the remaining puppies were ill. When contacted by a caretaker regarding an injured puppy, Moore allegedly refused to authorize medical care and told them to “let nature take its course.”

The caretakers contacted animal control to report the situation. Animal control officers found the surviving puppies were suffering from contagious parasites. An adult dog was suffering from untreated Lyme disease. Fencing at the site was in disrepair, and one adult dog escaped and has not been located. Attempts by the Dept of Agriculture to get Moore to make adequate provisions for the care of the dogs were unsuccessful. State animal control officers ultimately removed the dogs pursuant to a warrant. While in the care of the state, the pregnant mother gave birth to five additional puppies. The dogs are currently being well cared for in a variety of safe placements around the state.

Moore was charged with 20 counts of animal cruelty. Those charges against him are pending in Middletown Superior Court.

The verified petition filed this week in Hartford Superior Court on behalf of the Department of Agriculture seeks permanent state custody of the dogs, as well as reimbursement by Moore to the Department of Agriculture for the cost of their care while in state custody, for which he must post a bond.

“Dean Moore failed to make adequate provision for the care of his many dogs during his planned, prolonged absence, and as a result, six puppies died.  The court did the right thing in authorizing the removal of the remaining dogs for their protection. We are now moving for state custody to ensure these dogs are given the care they need and the chance to find the safe, permanent, loving homes they deserve,” said Attorney General Tong in a release.

“The situation that was presented required swift interaction to ensure the health and welfare of the dogs and puppies.  I thank our state and municipal animal control officers for recognizing the severity of the situation, and responding quickly, including finding temporary homes for these animals.  When we receive full custody, we will find permanent homes that best suit the needs of all of the dogs,” said Agriculture Commissioner Bryan Hurlburt.

If you suspect animal cruelty, reports can be made directly to the local animal control department or contact the Department of Agriculture at 860-713-2506 or [email protected].