December 2, 2021

Man accused of neglecting 77 animals in house

Lapeer man faces 89 counts of failure to provide proper food and drink

Cortland Communty SPCA

The air stank. The conditions were unhealthy. The 77 miniature horses, sugar gliders, birds and dogs needed to be removed, officials said.

And the Lapeer man who improperly kept those animals in his home will appear February in Lapeer Town Court, facing 89 counts of failure to provide proper food and drink to an impounded animal, according to the Cortland Community Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals.

Irving L. Hand, of 2968 Clarks Corners Road was charged with 77 counts of the misdemeanor on Thursday, with 12 more counts added Friday.

He was arraigned Friday in Lapeer Town Court, following the search of his home on Nov. 8.

SPCA investigators, along with the Cortland County Sheriff’s Department and County Acres Pet Services, acquired a warrant and searched the residence after an individual notified the society of animals living in unsanitary conditions, said Kelly Brown, an investigator with the society.

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For information on how to donate, call Kelly Brown at 607-749-0029

Brown and William Carr, the chief law enforcement officer for the society, declined to give details of the conditions, only saying that there was poor air quality in the home and that there were unhealthy conditions for the animals.

Inside, they found and removed 77 animals. These included dogs, miniature horses, sugar gliders and birds, Brown said.

Brown and Carr also declined to speak on the condition of the animals. Some were taken to the society’s shelter and others were sent to other facilities, though Brown wouldn’t say to where.

Hand was initially charged Thursday with 77 counts of failure to provide proper food and drink to an impounded animal, the society said.

On Friday, Hand was charged with 12 more counts of the same charge and ordered to provide sanitary and healthful shelter for 12 animals still at the residence. Officials did not say what animals he still possessed.

He could face more charges, Brown said. He is due back in court Feb. 12.

The animals will be available for adoption when they are fully healthy, Brown said.

The organization is also asking for donations to help pay for the care of the animals, she said.

“We appreciate the public support,” Carr said.