The owner of two dogs that neighbors say were abandoned claims he was caring for the animals.

Sam Ealy denied that the Siberian huskies named Demon and Mia were malnourished or mistreated even though he was not living at the residence.

“The situation has been rectified,” Ealy said. “Both animals went to Promises for Pets and have been placed with people.”

Attorney Susan M. Papa, president of Promises for Pets, confirmed in an e-mail to The News that the dogs were recovered Friday afternoon from the property at 4166 W. State St.

She wrote, “The organization acted, and our dog representative, Terri Weingartner, with the involvement of Tom Wharry, took possession of the huskies.”

Wharry is the county dog warden and state dog law officer. Attempts to reach him were unsuccessful.

Neighbors said the dogs had been chained up in the back yard of the residence since Memorial Day, but Ealy denied that.

Ealy, 30, said that after he and his wife Sara split, he left the residence and was unable to take the dogs with him. Ealy believed his wife was planning to move back into the house, but she never returned.

Attempts to reach Sara Ealy were unsuccessful.

Neighbors said there had been no activity at the home for weeks, something that Ealy denies. There are no curtains in the windows and debris and garbage were scattered throughout the front and back yards.

The dogs were restrained in the back of the property by 10-foot chains that were anchored into the ground. The dogs had matted fur and their ears looked to be infected.

Ealy said he was providing food and water for the dogs and the marks on their ears were flybites. He claimed that a veterinary assistant examined them, but he would not provide the name of the person.

Weingartner said that the dogs “were not in tip-top condition” when she picked them up “but they weren’t emaciated either.”

“I interviewed Sam Ealy,” she said. “He was very, very nice, and very cooperative. He said he was feeding the dogs. Now, according to the New Castle News, the neighbors were feeding the dogs.

“So unless you watch the house 24/7, how would you know? The female has put on a lot of weight now, but both dogs had worms, so that would keep weight off. Were they in as good shape as my dog? No. But I’ve seen dogs in far, far worse condition than these ones.”

Weingartner said the huskies “are both nice dogs, very adoptable.”

Ealy accepted blame for using a chain instead of a collar on one of the animals. “I know I shouldn’t have done that, but the dog broke every collar I put on him, even a leather one.”

Ealy said he objected to reporters going onto his property to photograph the dogs and check on them for a story that appeared in The News last weekend. He said that he didn’t object to neighbors feeding his dogs, “but that people need to mind their own business.”

He said the incident has jeopardized his position as a volunteer firemen with the Pulaski Township Department. Chief Guy Morse confirmed if a person were to be convicted of such charges, they would likely be removed from the roster.

“We are very concerned about the situation,” Morse said, “and we are monitoring it very closely.”

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