The Story in Dee Wingfield's own words:
Many have followed the ongoing mission to rescue every dog held in the squalor of the kennels of Marjorie Ingraham in Harpursville, New York. For more than 40 years, Mrs. Ingraham has indiscriminately bred Chow Chows, Siberian Huskies, American Eskimo dogs and other breeds. For the past twenty-five years, Mrs. Ingraham has focused her "breeding factory" especially on Keeshonden.
Since 2013, the worldwide Keeshond community has helped to rescue more than 101 Keeshonden from this filthy, deteriorating prison. We have continued to seek every avenue to close Mrs. Ingraham's kennel and to stop the egregious neglect in which the dogs exist.
Since 2014, the releases from the kennel had been minimal. In October 2016, four "non-producing" bitches were received into rescue, but one bitch, Pandora, promptly delivered seven puppies, three of whom survived. Those puppies were raised by Pandora and Ruthann Seibert, a respected Keeshond breeder and rescue volunteer. The puppies have been placed in loving adoptive homes and Pandora is now in California with her forever family, living the life of the star that she is. The three other girls, Karla, Kasey and Kira were adopted by their foster caregivers. Sadly, Kira passed away a few months ago after being diagnosed with an aggressive, incurable cancer.
In December 2016, I once again contacted multiple authorities in New York to ask for their assistance. Among those contacted was Sheriff Harder, Broome County Sheriff, and Karen Matson of Broome County Humane Society, both officials in Broome County, New York, location of the kennels. At that time, neither they, nor any of the 16 other county and state officials responded to my inquiry.
I sent the same request for assistance in early February 2017, with a question regarding why no one even took the time to acknowledge receipt of the new information I had sent in December. Then, I ended my request with "Shame on you."
Amazingly, after 3 years of complaints, for reasons unknown except God's grace, Sheriff Harder decided to assign the complaint to Detective Leon Brown of the Broome County Sheriff's Office. Sheriff Harder was the only addressee who responded to either of my most recent complaints. Detective Brown is a former K9 Officer. He immediately contacted me for information. I responded with an overview, and when asked for more information, I provided my usual voluminous amounts of documentation, depositions, veterinary reports, pictures, videos and eyewitness accounts. I also referred him to a very recent visitor to the kennel, as well as two other visitors from the past few months.
Detective Brown sprang to action. He reviewed the information. He interviewed the most recent witness. He contacted Karen Matson in order to follow Broome County legal protocol. Broome County Humane Society is privately contracted to assist with animal cruelty and control in Broome County, New York. So, when Detective Brown determined an investigation was warranted, he asked Ms. Matson to accompany him to the kennel.
At that time, more than 50 dogs were observed living in their own filth. They did not have adequate kennel protection and bedding as required by New York law. Detective Brown determined that dogs could be seized from Mrs. Ingraham. However, he also determined that it would be in the dogs' best interest if Mrs. Ingraham would voluntarily release them. That would afford her no opportunity to recover them. If seized, she would be able to petition to recover them.
On that day, Mrs. Ingraham agreed to release twenty dogs to Broome County Humane Society (BCHS). She released thirteen, and plans were made for the BCHS cruelty officer to return for more. After more visits to the kennel, and at the strong urging of Detective Brown, Mrs. Ingraham eventually released forty-one dogs. Thirty-three were Keeshonden; eight were American Eskimo dogs.
It was determined that Mrs. Ingraham could keep 7 adults and 2 puppies as "pets." However, those dogs, all Keeshonden, are not spayed or neutered. Subsequently, Mrs. Ingraham has claimed that she actually has 9 adults and 3 puppies (approximately 8 weeks of age at this writing), and that the puppies are for sale. None of the dogs are altered, and Mrs. Ingraham's history of continuing to breed even after stating she is retiring, is of grave concern. We will continue to press for every dog to be removed from Mrs. Ingraham's kennel.
After the dogs were released to Broome County Humane Society, it was decided that most would be placed with rescue groups. Suncoast Keeshond Rescue and Keeshond Affiliated Rescuers of the Mid-Atlantic were awarded custody of twenty-two of the Keeshonden. Eskies Online rescue received all eight of the American Eskimo dogs. Tri-State Keeshond Rescue received seven of the Keeshonden. BCHS placed four Keeshonden through their in-house adoption process.
Twenty-two of the Kees were immediately transported to Olney-Sandy Spring Veterinary Hospital (OSSVH) in Sandy Spring, Maryland, to be assessed, vetted and cared for by Denise Sharp and the top-knotch veterinarians and staff at OSSVH. After their initial veterinary care, each Kees was transported into foster care. Nearly all of those 33 Kees have now been adopted into loving homes. They continue to make progress and thrive under the experienced care of their families.
In January 2018 another two Keeshonden were recovered, JJ and Abby. They received veterinary care at OSSVH in Maryland, then were placed in foster care. Both of them have now been adopted by their foster homes.
As of September 2019, it is our belief that 6 Keeshonden remain with Ms. Ingraham. They are all kept in the squalid kennels, with little human contact, little veterinary care, no socialization and no love. However, we love them and want them.
Our battle will continue until every Kees is safe from the hazards and squalor of Marjorie's Kennel. Thank you for being an integral part of that with your unwavering support.
Suncoast Keeshond Rescue