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Niagara Falls woman charged with animal cruelty

A Niagara Falls woman has been charged with animal cruelty after police found two malnourished dogs in her home.

Tina Merecki, 48, of Niagara Street, was charged with two misdemeanor counts of failure to provide proper sustenance to the animals, which is a charge under the New York State Agricultural and Markets Law.

Niagara Falls Police Department officers at about 1:15 p.m. Sunday responded to a call to Merecki's address after someone reported they had witnessed a dog jump from the second-story balcony of her apartment and was concerned about the dog's welfare. An officer noted in her report that the dog did, "appear extremely malnourished, very skinny to the point where you could see the dogs rib cage, spine and hip bones." Merecki also had in her home a second dog that appeared to be in a similar malnourished state, according to the officer. The officer added that Merecki had no dog food in the home.

Police seized the dogs, which were both pit bulls. The dogs were taken to the Niagara County SPCA for treatment. After checking on the dogs Tuesday, an animal control officer said he was fearful that at least one of the dogs would likely not recover.

Merecki appeared in Niagara Falls City Court on Tuesday and was released on her own recognizance. She is scheduled to return at 9 a.m. Feb. 23.

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