A Canine Gem operator facing more charges

May 4—BEEKMANTOWN — Hilary A. Davis, operator of animal rescue A Canine Gem, which 49 dogs were seized from in February due to alleged poor conditions, was arraigned on additional charges in Beekmantown Justice Court Wednesday.

Davis, 57, was charged with three counts of animal cruelty, all misdemeanors; one count of false advertising, a misdemeanor; and one count of first-degree scheme to defraud, a felony.

Davis, now represented by defense attorney Nicholas Evanovich of LaMarche Safranko Law in Plattsburgh, pleaded not guilty to all charges Wednesday and was released on her own recognizance.

In March, Davis was also charged with four counts of second-degree forgery, class D felonies; two counts of second-degree possession of a forged instrument, also class D felonies; and 48 counts of torturing or injuring animals/failure to provide sustenance, class A misdemeanors.

The charges stem from her alleged mistreatment of dozens of dogs at her animal rescue facility, A Canine Gem, at 30 Ashley Rd. in Beekmantown.

After receiving complaints about the condition of the dogs at that location, the Clinton County Sheriff's Department seized 49 of them on Feb. 26.

Many of the dogs removed from there were said to have been crammed into small cages with bare cement floors, causing many to have injuries and issues to their paws.

Upon examination from a veterinarian, several dogs were also found to be malnourished.

Because of a lack of space at the Elmore SPCA in Peru, the dogs were then brought to and housed at the Clinton County Jail in a cell pod that was not being used for inmates; SPCA staff have since gone there to care for them.

Of the 49 dogs that were removed, two have since died due to health ailments.


Many of the dogs, however, have found forever homes.

Executive Director for the Elmore SPCA, Rebecca "Becki" Moss-Patnode, said 26 have been adopted out so far, and they're hoping to find homes for the rest as soon as possible.

During Davis's court appearance Wednesday — of which Moss-Patnode and other Elmore staff were in attendance — prosecutor Kurt Reh of the Clinton County District Attorney's office, requested a court order that while the case is pending, Davis not be allowed to "own, harbor or have custody or control" of any animals.

In his reasoning for requesting the order, Reh said based on the allegations against Davis, it's a very "real concern" that further harm may be done to animals.

Evanovich argued against the request and said non-monetary release conditions ensure individuals return to court and have nothing to do with that type of order. He said Reh's request was "punitive" and did not believe it was necessary nor allowed under the criminal procedure.

Evanovich said he would make recommendations to her that may "mirror" the request, but did not feel it was appropriate to order it as a condition.

Justice Brendon Dupree eventually sided with the defense and denied Reh's request.

Dupree said the request was "reasonable given the circumstances," but said it would be wise if Davis voluntarily abided by Reh's request instead of being ordered to by the court.

Davis's next court appearance is scheduled for June 12 at 5 p.m.

Email: cnewton@pressrepublican.com

Twitter: CarlySNewton