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Hell on Earth at Angel’s Gate ‘Hospice’

Written by PETA | April 20, 2011

Angel’s Gate, Inc., is a self-proclaimed animal “hospice and rehabilitation center” that promises guardians that “special needs animals” will “live out their days in peace, dignity and love.” But a new PETA undercover investigation has revealed shocking, systemic, and sometimes fatal neglect of the animals taken to this deceptive Delhi, N.Y., facility. PETA has submitted a formal complaint to the local prosecutor and is calling for a criminal investigation and immediate veterinary assessment of all animals still languishing at Angel’s Gate. PETA has also turned over evidence to the federal Drug Enforcement Administration and to various New York State regulatory officials.

PETA’s investigation found that Angel’s Gate executive director Susan Marino kept animals in crowded, inhumane conditions, leading to fights over space and food and injuries that were then left untreated. Animals were denied veterinary care and medications for pain, seizures, tumors, infections, and open wounds; one such animal, Malcolm, was left to deteriorate for roughly two weeks, until he could not stand, walk, or eat, before he finally died. Despite the availability of wheelchair carts, Marino forced paraplegic dogs to drag themselves around. Animals who needed to have their bladders expressed were placed in diapers until they urinated on themselves, resulting in urine scald. A miniature horse at the facility, Mimi, died after she was denied treatment for severe respiratory distress. Months after Mimi’s death, Marino is still soliciting donations for the horse’s care on her website.

Please take a moment to e-mail Delaware County District Attorney Richard Northrup Jr. and politely ask him to investigate Angel’s Gate, get immediate help for the animals there, and file suitable cruelty-to-animals and other criminal charges against Susan Marino.

And please promise your animal companions today that you will always be there for them, especially in the most difficult times of their lives. They depend on us to prevent and alleviate their suffering; when veterinary care cannot provide that, please give them the relief and dignity of humane euthanasia. Shipping animals off to a facility in the hope that they will die there peacefully fails them, as this investigation clearly shows.

Written by Paula Moore

Commenting is closed.
  • Patricia says:

    “The road to hell is paved with good intentions”. I think she got WAY in over her head and should have asked for help or stopped taking in special needs pets. It doesn’t make you a good person if you let them suffer in pain and illness and die alone.

  • George says:

    I hope all you miserable pieces of shit die a miserable death! You are the lowest form of human life. Angel’s Gate cared about life, you care about mosquitoes. When you end up in hell, don’t worry, I hear it’s a dry heat.

  • Georgie says:

    OMG I could not watch all of this, it makes me sad & sick that animals are kept in a place like this, when its meant to be “humane” care, what a load of crap. This is reprehensible and IS animal CRUELTY to the max, I hope the owner has the full force of the law come down on them. I love my fur babies, and if their sick, ill or injured I take them to the vet and if I have to have them put them down to make sure they are NOT suffering I will and I have.

  • Lola Vanslette says:

    I find it disturbing that people would put pets into a shelter anyway if they are sick or dying. Putting pets in a nursing home to die ranks up there with putting their elderly parents into a home. Neither are safe or comfortable for them. If your animal is that sick, it is humane to put them out of their misery, not push them on someone else to make a buck off of. These so-called rescue centers should all be shut down and need to stop making money off of dying pets. If they really want to help pets, they should open a Humane Society franchise that can be monitored and only take in healthy pets. At least there they will really be cared for.

  • Scott says:

    I met Susan through a friend a few years back and she is a sincere and honest person. I myself am vegan and is it not an animals right to live rather than let humans put it out of it’s misery?

  • keys1997 says:

    something needs to be done fast thi sis just uncall for and has anybody seen her web site looks nothing like the peta video don’t these place check this out before they leave an animal or are thwey just ha smuch at fault if i was to take an animal there and i saw what it look like that animal would not stay . i hope they do something fast who nows how many are dieing every day and the one taht rae suffering everyday please help them soon peta

  • Reagan says:

    Susan Marino’s psuedo animal care facility sounds exactly like another place in Midlothian, Texas called the Animal Rehabilitation Center, Inc. ARC was founded and run by another self-proclaimed animal rescue person, Karen Starr Wakeland. Change the names and the story is the same. It took a small group of individuals to stop Wakeland and hold her accountable. The legal process took 5 years. This story brings back the bad memories of that ordeal.

  • Arnold says:

    That makes me sad.How can they let the poor things suffer like that.

  • penelopeann611 says:

    it is painful to look at and realize how much suffering these innocents are going through.

  • Linda Bain says:

    YOU are a pridefull person and you can take that pride and shove it where the sun doesnt shine!!! Because of you many many animals have suffered and dies extremely horrible deaths. SHAME ON YOU!! I put you in the same class as the BLM!!! “When a human dies there is a bridge they must cross to enter into Heaven. At the head of that bridge waits every animal that human encountered during their lifetime. The animals, based on what they know of this person, decide which humans may cross the bridge and which are turned away.” YOU and the BLM won’t see get close enough to even SEE the bridge!!

  • Valerie says:

    To Moderator: why is my comment not showing. I took 15 minutes to write a thoughtful (not rude at all) comment and it has never shown up. Then thought perhaps we are allowd only one comment per blog entry – not so, I found someone gto to post twice here. Was there something offensive about my comment?

  • PETA says:

    Ralph, the vast majority of animals accepted by PETA are geriatric, seriously injured, or extremely sick. When an animal has nothing to look forward to but a slow, agonizing death, we feel that the only humane option is a peaceful, dignified release from suffering. Allowing animals with no hope of recovery to languish in agony for weeks or months as Marino did is unacceptable. For more information on what PETA’s investigator found at the facility, see our investigation page:

  • PETA says:

    Ralph, the vast majority of animals accepted by PETA are geriatric, seriously injured, or extremely sick. When an animal has nothing to look forward to but a slow, agonizing death, we feel that the only humane option is a peaceful, dignified release from suffering. Allowing animals with no hope of recovery to languish in agony for weeks or months as Marino did is unacceptable. For more information on what PETA’s investigator found at the facility, see our investigation page:

  • Gia Savocchi says:

    Shelley I would like to see those pictures. Please add me on facebook as there are a lot of Shelley Davis.

  • Troma says:

    Susan Marino seems to be another Gary Kaskel, someone who started out with maybe good intentions and then got greedy. You remember Kaskel blowing every penny when he headed UAA (United Action for Animals) paying for a fancy office for himself, paying himself, refusing to take in animals, becoming an “advocate” instead (to get his name in the papers) and ultimately spending a fortune to make a useless “pets are our friends” documentary to get a credit as a film maker. He interviewed anyone who might give him a new job (he could see he depleted nearly every cent UAA had). And guess what, he did get a fresh job in a fresh location. Kaskel, Marino, these people have the same connection to animals that parasites have.

  • Gia Savocchi says:

    This is in reponse to what Todd said. Todd I practically lived at your house for several years. I remember animals dieing after being killed by other dogs. Do you remember what happened do your mothers little Maltese Sadie? Or that cream Afghan hound, or that little orange Yoda kitten? How about when the horses did not have their feet trimmed for a whole year. Susan has been in over her head for over ten years. While I totally respect what your mom is doing and admit that she is a special lady, it made me sad to see that animals are still fighting and probably killing each other at the facility. This is totally out of control. Fights should be happening rarely, if ever. And to see that ten years later savage fighting among dogs is still going on really really made me sad. I also saw in the news report that there are now only ten birds. There were a lot of parrots who should still be alive that lived with Susan back then. Where are they all now? These were healthy birds, who towards the end never got out of there cages. While I agree that Susan could be doing good work there are just too many animals, too few staff, too little funding and this has turned it into an abusive situation. Should Angels Gate be shut down? I do not know. However, I think that it should not only be run by one person, and it should not have so many animals if it can not take care of them. The sores on the paralyzed dogs legs are absolutely horrible and preventable with proper bandaging.

  • Katherine says:

    Hey Todd, nothing you typed justified any of the conditions seen in that video or the photos. That video clearly shows on going neglect, not stress cause by being dislocated while you design something pro bono (btw,thanks for letting us know that you are designing something for free for your mom because that’s what we were worried about). I hope the authorities step in quickly to remove these animals and place them into the care of someone that will truly take care of their special needs.

  • Debbie Wasko says:

    Google Angel’s Gate, Hospice for Animals … a residential non-profit 501(c) and Susan Marino, founder. See how she is revered … this is what happens when left unchecked and the money continues to roll in. TO SON TODD, 4-21-11 @ 4:58 pm COMMENT … if the rescuer needs rescuing, it’s time to close. Overwhelmed doesn’t excuse the level of neglect and cruelty inflicted on those who cannot speak for themselves, thus this movement has begun and will continue on their behalf.

  • Pamela LaBrake says:

    I also saw the video on the TU website, and just feel sick. This “woman” should be thrown in jail and left in her own filth. Those animals were suffering and the excuse the son used that rehab was being done just dosen’t cut it. If there was not room to care for the animals then have them sent to a place that really cared. Wouldn’t this clearly be a case of abuse under Busters Law? I had my cat Patches who was 20 years old put to sleep, she had stopped eating and just hid in places in the house. I called the vet and they said it was time bring her in. I sobbed as the needle was put and when I brought her home to bury her in our yard. But although it was so hard to let her go, it was about her, I didn’t want her to suffer. And all the animals shown in the video were suffering horribly. Not only should she be brought up on charges but made to pay back all money that people who thought she really cared donated to her.

  • Samantha says:

    This is by far one of the most heartbreaking stories i have ever read..That woman should be sent to the worst possible prison there is yet still it would be considered heaven compared to what these poor helpless animals went thru..there is NO EXCUSE for that kind of treatment towards animals..and to continue taking donations? Lady you are an ABSOLUTE WASTE OF SPACE.

  • Harry M. Drahushuk says:

    Having a cat that I would run through fire to save, the very thought of this happening in this day and age is heartbreaking. We,and I mean “we” all need to find ways of putting an end to such a thing. They trust their very lives to us,we need to return that trust many times over. Love them or don’t own them period.

  • Jay says:

    Ralph: you’re an idiot. This a-ha! Gotcha! PETA kills animals thing, that animal exploiters love to bring up? If PETA were to take in every unwanted animal that is dumped into it’s care, how long would it be before Ringling Bros., The Center For Consumer Freedom, and other PETA hating groups to begin setting up puppy mill operations with a vengeance, for the sole purpose of depleting PETA’s resources and manpower? I hate euthanizing healthy animals, and so does PETA. That’s why spay/neuter is a high priority here. Just being alive, without quality of life, isn’t living. When you care for your animals, helping them pass away, when the quality of life is gone, is an act of love. All these animals should have been loved enough to pass with dignity and love. Not this. The woman in this video is overwhelmed, but it’s no excuse. Appalling.

  • Sandy Bos says:

    If you want to help animals, take on WHAT YOU CAN AFFORD, monitarily, physically, and emotionally. Anymore results in this catastrophy, with the ANIMALS paying the ultimate price. This woman may have started out with good intentions, but has become blinded by her own psychological issues and greed. This has become a selfish endevour. She needs to be arrested and shut down. NOW.

  • Shelley Davis says:

    I have supported Susan for so many years I can’t even recall…back when she was on LI and still with Victor. I urged her to move upstate where she would have more room and less aggrevation. I donated money and I sent dogs to her. I made arrangements and assured people that their animals were in good hands. I understand that in a hospice, there are going to be animals that don’t look so pretty for the camera. I want you to know that when I woke up this morning and read what was posted all over facebook, I just crashed…first shock and then heart wretching sobbing for the animals, for my horror and remorse for having sent dogs to her…and assured their owners that they would be well cared for. I’ve spoken many times to Susan on the phone, some of the conversations were long and detailed. I’ve always liked and supported her, even when friends warned me that something bad was going on. Today I received photographs from a 2009 investigation of Angel’s Gate. They are on my facebook page, Shelley Davis and they can also be gotten from Marc at ISpeak: ~~~Subject: Fwd: Please call We are investigating Angel’s gate, Following are emails with pictures taken,, Very troubling is she is getting animals from NY City Animal control. Also Mayors alliance (Jane Hoffman – allegedly sent a woman up to check Angels gate and she came back with pictures and reports, per woman Mayors alliance told her to keep her mouth closed. HSUS Also contacted and NY Director Patric hung up on complainant. There is supposedly a horse getting very thin on property on. Marc Jurnove (516) 383-5620 ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Just email and he will forward the photographs and details. I was warned back in 2009 to beware but I didn’t believe it and continued to support Susan. Today I am devastated, hurt and angry…feeling so betrayed. I also heard that some big time rescue groups have stepped in and told the DA to not investigate Angels Gate and he’s responding to them. This is wrong. The situation has to be investigated for the sake of the animals. If Susan didn’t have enough staff, then hire more…get more volunteers and STOP TAKING IN MORE ANIMALS..when you take in more than you can care for you are a HOARDER! Why has this happened Susan? Why? How could you let this happen to these innocent and suffering animals? And son of Susan…what will be with some larger room or renovation isn’t what is..the photos I have are from 2009 and the abuse happened before that or there wouldn’t have been an investigation. Why is she taking in so many animals that she can’t properly care for them and they are fighting? WHy are they even being fed together? I take care of dogs and would never feed them together. I’ve been doing this for 35 years and never had a fight over food or water. Shelley

  • David ROUSSEL says:

    Poor little animals. Human beings are sometimes so stupid and cruel.

  • Lynn says:

    I have mixed feelings about this video and the comments posted. If there is not adequate funding or help to care for hospice animals appropriately, it is not ethical to continue to accept new animals. Hospice specializes in palliative care; that is, care designed to provide comfort. While there may be plenty of good intentions here, it certainly appears the lines of good judgement are getting blurred.

  • Denise Joyce says:

    This is horrific and if you dont have the funding or able to keep up with the animals that you are supposed to be caring for (being they are SPECIAL NEEDS) then you need to ask for help. YOU DO NOT LEAVE THEM IN THIS CONDITION. I am just sick to my stomach for these precious angels.

  • caryn magno says:

    i went there several times and would never bring a fly there. the animals die a slow and horrible death

  • Tiffany Thrasher says:

    This is so sickening. These poor babies! Send this woman to jail where she can rot in prison! What’s so sad is that if someone did this to disabled children they would be locked up in a heart beat and the key would be thrown away. Do the same for these poor helpless animals. Literally helpless animals! Poor things! 🙁

  • Todd says:

    Hi everybody, I can understand everyone’s comments; based on what is shown in the video it doesn’t look like there are ideal conditions at Angel’s Gate. I’m Susan Marino’s son, my name is Todd and I’m an architect based out of NYC. I’ve visited Angel’s Gate recently and it is true that they are understaffed, and underfunded, which makes it hard to give each one of the animals ample individual care. Susan recently asked me to design (pro bono) a 2000 square foot addition to Angel’s Gate in November, and it is currently still under construction. The new facility will include a rehabilitation room and two new dog rooms. Additionally there are renovations being done to the existing house. This ultimately will create a better and more spacious environment for the animals to live, but while the project is under construction, the animals have been displaced from their respective spaces and stressed by the construction and their new environments causing some territorial aggression among some of the dogs. The Facility passed inspection the last time it was inspected and will pass again when construction is complete, but it is hard to keep free from violations while under construction, hence Susan’s comment at the end of the film. I think it is important to understand that this is a hospice and palliative care facility; all of the animals here arrive with sever acute and/or chronic conditions (such as Tuxie’s chronic skin condition). Susan works to cure the acute conditions and improve the chronic conditions to the best of her ability and as funding allows. She makes almost daily trips to The Crescent Pet Lodge, an animal hospital in Oneonta, with animals that need veterinary care that she can’t provide at Angel’s Gate. Susan is so passionate about her animals and has dedicated her life to caring for them. She is doing everything in her ability to give them the best quality of life possible before they pass. Unfortunately she can only do so much with the limited funding and very small committed staff that she has. Please don’t assume propaganda is true without context. If you have genuine concern that these animals are cared for properly then go to Angel’s Gate, help out, and see the work that is done there. Then you can decide for yourself if Angel’s Gate should be shut down or rescued. -Todd

  • Valerie says:

    I immediately emailed the District Attorney. Of concern is this woman and her theories on animals – she sure gets national publicity but the photos and video hides nothing. She thinks keeping a dead animal around for days wrapped in plastic helps it’s spirit? Huh? She mentions what else is she to do ‘put them in a freezer?’. Actually in vet offices they have this for that purpose, until arrangements for the pet can be made as soon as possible. Leaving a dead animal for days is unsanitary, bizarre and surely the other animals pick up the scent and it disturbs these already obviously ill animals. Having animals with dripping wounds is something that should have the Health Department come in. She is exposing herself and volunteers to this? It is disgusting. The smell in that place must be awful. Where are the officials? Some one reported her for not having her wildlife care license (it had ‘expired’) and then some authorities came out. What about inspections for multi pet/rescue group/shelter she should be getting by the City? How did this woman slip under the radar of officials yet garner national attention about the good work she was doing. Such suffering of these little guys – hopefully they will be taken and get real help.

  • Elaine says:

    Angel’s gate? My a**!!!! Please please please help those animals, they are so innocent and helpless!!!!!!!!

  • Concerned says:

    I lived in the town that Angels Gate was located until their move to Delhi a few years ago. Unfortunately, many people praised them for taking their animals that they didn’t personally have the heart to euthinize. As a pet owner myself, I understand this feeling, but ….. this woman is keeping animals alive in pain to make herself feel powerful and needed – she does not care about their pain and suffering.

  • susan taylor says:

    This place is heartbreaking it’s hell on earth for these poor animals we need to get it shut down now or have someone go in there and make some very very drastic changes and make sure that all these animals get the care they are supposed to. I often wonder how these places get away with this does nobody do surprise inspections to make sure donations and care is being administered correctly?.

  • justme says:

    Saw video on timesunion blogs. I am horrified by all of this. The crying cat (now dead) image will haunt me.

  • Brenda Armour says:

    PETA goes to these hell holes where no one else dares to venture. The pictures are heartbreaking. I am sick yet again at the abuse of animals for profit. Please send her to jail .

  • lori rockefeller says:

    It sickens me that this kind of place is allowed to exsist! Im actually embarassed to be a NYer today…just pathetic, poor excuse of a human who’s more interested in money than animals!

  • Sarah says:

    this place must be sut down now!!!! this is animal cruelty at it’s finest! HOW DO THEY END UP ON OPRAH, MARTHA STEWARS AND RACHEL RAY SHOW????????

  • Kim says:

    What is being done to make sure this vile woman is held accountable for the atrocities she has caused?

  • lisa says:

    This is utterly heartbreaking this hellhole must be shut down immediately and the poor animals rescued and given the medical treatment they urgently need. Susan Marino should be arrested and charged, this is disgusting, and how could anyone send their animal to a hospice in the first place you should be with them till their last breath of life. Very very sad, please keep us updated.

  • Wolves Endangered says:

    Endangered Canadian wolves are about to be slaughtered in Montana and Idaho by ignorant people. They are not being protected by the very environmentalists who brought them back from the brink of extinction. Please help to save the wolves…find celebrities, get an injunction, travel to the Rockies…

  • sacljr says:

    I was horrified and saddened to find out that this organization that I donated to and thought were heaven sent were actually creating a hell on earth for already suffering animals. Susan and Victor are sick individuals!!!! SICK!! I hope they reap what they sow! These people duped Oprah and Martha Stewart also………

  • marsha solton says:

    what I don’t understand is why the woman in charge is not behind bars….there has to be an inverstigation? It’s there for all to see? And where are the animals?, the ones that survived?….this sickens and saddens me to my core

  • Laurel Mancini says:

    Nature is harsh. Humans are cruel. I am disgusted by my species and the phony, filthy protestations of concern for sick and disabled animals. People may write that PETA is over the top on animal welfare issues, and I say, we need over the top. No species placed or taken in by a human should be subject to such horrific, malign indifference. To any person who displays such deception to animals, I say, May they burst!!!

  • shadyladymiami says:

    This is appalling. Life is not worth living without hope and personal attention. One dog that a family loves, living with such afflictions, might have quality of life. Never would I want any living being to have suffer living in such a warehousing situation.. just one more suffering soul among so many others. There is no hope and no love and no reason to keep an animal alive in such a situation. Very sad, and from this woman’s attitude, just a way to get in money. She knows what she is doing is not right. Just the dog fights alone among a pack of dogs of all sizes and strengths is enough to show me she does not know what she is doing and needs to be shut down… NOW!

  • Juell DeSpain says:

    I agree with Cecille!