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Animal Neglect Case: Binghamton Man Pleads Not Guilty

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SANFORD, N.Y. -

Accused of mistreating animals at a Sanford property, John Elmer pleaded not guilty to nine counts of animal neglect in Town of Sanford Court Friday morning. Elmer, 39 of Binghamton, was arrested on April 12th when police raided his Hawkins Road property, seizing 11 animals, but leaving behind 12 dogs. Police say they could not prove the dogs had suffered physical harm as a result of their living conditions.

Before adjourning, the judge asked about those animals left behind. Turning to Elmer and his attorney she said, "You want to make sure that those animals left on the property are taken care of."

As Elmer was leaving court, a concerned citizen followed him to his car, asking how the dogs are that are still in Elmer's care. Elmer's answer: "Just fine, ma'am." This exchange continued while the woman asked about horses and donkeys at a property in Harpursville. Elmer laughed, while getting in the car, he shouted over his should, "If you only knew..."

This is not Elmer's first offense. Back in 2005 police seized 48 animals from his home in Windsor. Elmer was initially charged with 86 felony counts of animal abuse. The Broome County District Attorney's office says those were pleaded down to misdemeanors.

A pretrial hearing for these latest charges is set for June 1st in Town of Sanford court. If convicted on any of those charges, Elmer would be put on the Broome County Animal Abuser Registry.