Accused Dog Hoarder Speaks Out

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JACKSON TOWNSHIP -- A man accused of hoarding chihuahuas at his home in Columbia County is speaking out. It's been two weeks since nearly 200 dogs were taken from the home of Tom and Albert Ambrosia, near Benton.

Tom Ambrosia said his pets remain his top priority.

Tom Ambrosia and his brother Albert still have 10 dogs at their home near Benton.

It was all they were allowed to keep after authorities discovered about 200 dogs, mostly chihuahuas, living in the home. Authorities called it a case of animal hoarding, but Tom Ambrosia said that's not how it was.

"This is not a dirty house. My vet lives right next door. My neighbors never had a problem. The dogs never ran around. The dogs had over 2,000 square feet to play in," said Ambrosia.

Ambrosia said the dogs were seized illegally after state police showed up at the home last month. He said he and his brother should have been given time to find the dogs new homes.

Instead, they face charges of animal cruelty and hundreds of dollars in fines.

"We would like to see all of the evidence. We want to see the witnesses. So I believe we may have to have our day in court. We have not made our decision final at this point," said Ambrosia.

Ambrosia said that instead of paying fines, he wants to give money to the shelters that took in the dogs and put them up for adoption.

He said he just wants to make sure his pups are getting the best care possible.

"Is it a lot easier? Yes. Do we miss every one of them? Absolutely. There's not a day that he and I don't sit down and cry for an hour," said Ambrosia.