Niagara Gazette

March 29, 2013

Pomeranian owner gets plea deal

BY JOE OLENICK
Niagara Gazette

LOCKPORT — Charges against a woman who had 64 Pomeranian dogs seized from her home last month will be dismissed, following her acceptance of a plea deal Thursday in Lockport Town Court.

Ellouise Magrum, 50, 6603 Royal Parkway South, admitted she violated a town ordinance that did not permit her to housing the 64 dogs in a residential zone. Magrum will pay a $250 fine.

Two counts of endangering the welfare of a child were adjourned Thursday in contemplation of dismissal, while the one count of cruelty to animals charge was thrown out.

“They should’ve never been brought in the first place,” said George V.C. Muscato, Magrum’s attorney.

In court, Muscato said the dogs were never mistreated by Magrum. In fact, when the SPCA of Niagara came to confiscate the dogs, the SPCA said all of the animals were in good health, Muscato said. All of the dogs were adopted shortly after being taken from Magrum’s home in February.

The Niagara County Sheriff’s Office and New York State Police found the Pomeranian dogs living with three people in filthy conditions inside Magrum’s home. According to the Feb. 2 sheriff’s report, deputies were “unable to ignore the overwhelming odor of animal urine and feces” while speaking to family members.

But no one said those smells existed for a long period of time, Muscato said.

Other than the ordinance violation, Magrum did nothing wrong, her attorney said. The family not only lost the dogs but have been under a lot of stress, Muscato added.

“They have paid a tremendous price,” he said.

When leaving court Thursday, Magrum declined comment.