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Animal Neglect: Neighbors Say They've Reported Binghamton Man Repeatedly

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SANFORD, N.Y. -

A Binghamton man accused of neglecting animals appeared in Town of Sanford court Friday morning. John Elmer is charged with nine counts of animal neglect after police seized 11 animals from his property on Hawkins Road in April. 

Elmer did not bring his lawyer with him and the judge said the court had received no record of Elmer's representation. The arraignment was pushed back to May 11th. 

Even though the proceedings were delayed, the courtroom was full of neighbors from near Elmers' multiple properties around the county. Elmer had no comments for the media, but those neighbors had plenty to say.

A neighbor from by Elmer's Hawkins Road property in Sanford says she's found animals dead outside for years and goats and llamas were repeatedly busting out of fences to try and find food. One of those goats used to follow her grandson home looking for handouts. Helen Regenbogen says that goat was one of the animals police found dead in a shed behind Elmer's property when they conducted a search warrant on April 12th.

"For ten years there's been animals that have not been taken care of. No water, no food," says Regenbogen.

One Binghamton woman says she drives by Elmer's house on Clinton Street on her way to work and has filed complaints with multiple agencies about the dogs he keeps there.

"These dogs, you can see their bones, you can see their ribs, you can see their hips. It's just completely disgraceful," says Barbara Bell-Kicinski.

Bell-Kicinski says she felt so terrible that she gave the dogs milk bones through the fence once. She says Elmer then threatened to sue her for trespassing and slander. Bell-Kicinski says an animal cruelty officer went into the Clinton Street house and told her there were 14 dogs upstairs. That's in addition to four that Bell-Kicinski says slept outside in a fence through the winter.

"In the back of the house, there's cages stacked on top of eachother. Who knows what's in them," says Bell-Kicinski.

When police raided the Hawkins Road house, they seized two cats, two foxes, four sheep, and one donkey, but had to leave behind 12 dogs because the vet couldn't prove the living conditions were causing severe physical harm. Outisde Sanford Town Court on Friday, concerned Broome County residents told Assistant District Attorneys that Elmer needs to be convicted, put on the animal abuser registry, and banned from owning any more animals.

This is not the first time the 39 year old has faced these kind of charges. Back in 2005, he was charged with 86 felony counts of animal cruelty. Police had seized 48 animals from his Windsor home and say there were hundreds of dead animals on the property. The Broome County District Attorney's Office says those charges were pleaded down to misdemeanors.