Olivebridge man accused of 21 counts of animal cruelty

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By Jay Braman Jr.
An Olivebridge man was convicted of 21 counts of animal cruelty last week following the death of as many dogs in a barn fire that destroyed the building and its habitants one year ago.
David Delisio was found guilty by a jury in the Town of Olive Court on Thursday. Twenty-one dogs died in a barn fire on Delisio’s property at 82 Mill Road in Olivebridge on June 7, 2013.

After the fire, investigators discovered what were described as deplorable conditions, with dog feces piled three feet high within the barn where the animals were kept.
Delisio was quickly charged with 22 counts of failure to provide proper sustenance and 22 counts of failure to provide food and drink to confined animals, all misdemeanors, and a felony charge of aggravated cruelty to animals. Each count is punishable by up to a year in jail.
Thursday’s verdict would have been on 22 counts, but was reduced because it was determined that one dog had died about a month before the fire. That canine’s remains were left in the barn where the other dogs were housed.
Delisio’s sentence is expected to prevent him from owning domesticated animals. After the fire, Delisio still had another dog and some horses.
At the time of the fire, investigators said that the dead dogs were found huddled together in the middle of the barn on the only available floor space. Examination of the carcass’s revealed the dogs died of smoke inhalation.
Following the incident, Delisio, who was also convicted of 18 counts of animal cruelty in 2009, was arraigned in Olive Town Court by Justice Ronald Wright and sent to Ulster County Jail. He later was released on $5,000 bail.
Sentencing for Delisio has not yet been scheduled.