SPCA removes 77 animals from Lapeer property

More than 77 animals were removed from a Lapeer residence. Their owner was arraigned on cruelty charges, announced the Cortland Community Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals today.

Irving L. Hand Jr. of Lapeer was charged with 77 misdemeanor counts of failure to provide proper food and drink to an impounded animal and arraigned Jan. 16 in Lapeer Town Court, according to the SPCA. The next day, SPCA law enforcement charged Lapeer with an additional 12 counts of the charge and ordered him to provide sanitary shelter for the animals still on his property, the agency stated today.

Hand lives on less than 2 acres at 2968-2974 Clarks Corners Road, according to the Cortland County tax rolls.

The SPCA law enforcement department and the Cortland County Sheriff’s Office searched Hand’s property on Nov. 8 with a warrant after receiving a tip that many animals were being confined in unsanitary conditions, or provided with unhealthy shelter or with no shelter, according to news released sent to area media today. With the aid of Country Acres Pet Services, the SPCA removed 77 animals from the property, according to Inv. Kelly Brown.

The pets removed were companion, exotic and domestic or farm animals, Brown said in an interview. Brown declined to comment regarding what species were removed citing ongoing court proceedings. Brown also declined to identify what species were included in the 12 animals still at the property.

“It’s just a mixture,” she said, referring to the pets.

The animals were being kept on a residential property, not a farm, Brown noted.

A miniature horse and several chickens were seen at the property from Clarks Corners Road today. A dilapidated house, a sidingless singlewide trailer and another singlewide trailer could also be seen on the property. 

Hand is scheduled to return to Lapeer Town Court on Feb. 12 and Brown noted additional charges are possible.

To offset the additional expenses of caring for the 77 seized animals, the SPCA is asking for donations. To donate online or learn more about the SPCA, go to cortlandspca.org.