Always Locked Self Storage is offering use of a climate-controlled unit to house dog food donated by the community for the dogs seized in a cruelty case

FARMINGTON — The Ontario County community have risen to the occasion when a huge and unexpected need arose: the need to take care of 85 dogs seized in an animal-cruelty case in Naples.

The dogs — Cairn and Yorkshire terriers ranging from 4 months to 6 years old— are being housed at the Ontario County Humane Society's Happy Tails shelter while their health and well-being are addressed until they can be adopted or fostered. Many people have donated money — more than $100,000 raised in a fundraising campaign for the "Naples 85" — to be used for the dogs' surgeries and continued care, and for future cruelty cases. Many others have donated food and other items to help with care of the canines.

The influx of donated food, of course, creates another need: where to store it all. A Farmington business has stepped in to meet that need.

Always Locked Self Storage, on Carmens Way off Route 332, is donating the use of a climate-controlled, 10-by-10-foot unit for the Humane Society to store the food free of charge for a minimum of three months. The original three months of free usage is being donated by Loretta Shippers in memory of her sister-in-law, who was a huge animal lover, and in memory of Pepper, the sister-in law’s beloved cat. A trailer of the donated food came in to the facility Friday. Plans were to also move items from the society's 20-foot storage pod into the unit.

At the end of the three months donated by Shippers, Always Locked with touch base with Dianne Faas, shelter manager for the Humane Society, on whether the society has continued need of the storage facility and about how else the business can be of assistance.

Through a cooperative effort of the county Humane Society and Ontario County District Attorney’s Office, effectively 80 of the 85 dogs have been freed for adoption. The Ontario County District Attorney and Ontario County Humane Society announced that as of Aug. 8, Richard Justice relinquished his rights to all 85 dogs; as of Aug. 20, Jane Justice surrendered her interest in 80 of the 85 dogs. The remaining five dogs continue to be cared for at the Ontario County Humane Society shelter, where they will remain as the animal cruelty case is prosecuted.

The Ontario County Humane Society has received some 240 applications from people wanting to foster or adopt the dogs. The Society will use a lottery to place the 80 dogs freed for adoption.