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Prosecutors argue Great Danes are evidence in animal cruelty case

  • The Humane Society of the United States works with the Wolfeboro Police Dept. to rescue approximately 70 Great Danes from a suspected puppy mill on Friday, June 16, 2017, in Wolfeboro, N.H. (Meredith Lee/The HSUS)

  • The Humane Society of the United States works with the Wolfeboro Police Dept. to rescue approximately 70 Great Danes from a suspected puppy mill on Friday, June 16, 2017, in Wolfeboro, N.H. (Meredith Lee/The HSUS)

  • Senior Field Rescue Responder for The Humane Society of the United States Rowdy Shaw removes a dog from the house during a rescue of approximately 70 Great Danes from a suspected puppy mill on Friday, June 16, 2017, in Wolfeboro, N.H. The Wolfeboro Police Dept. called in The HSUS to assist with rescue and long-term care of the dogs. (Meredith Lee/The HSUS)

  • The Humane Society of the United States Animal Rescue Team members John Sidenstricker and John Peaveler, right, load dogs during a rescue of approximately 70 Great Danes from a suspected puppy mill on Friday, June 16, 2017, in Wolfeboro, N.H. The Wolfeboro Police Dept. called in The HSUS to assist with rescue and long-term care of the dogs. (Meredith Lee/The HSUS)

  • More than 80 Great Danes were rescued from a suspected puppy mill in Wolfeboro on June 16. Courtesy

  • A dog waits to be loaded onto a transport vehicle as The Humane Society of the United States rescues approximately 70 Great Danes from a suspected puppy mill on Friday, June 16, 2017, in Wolfeboro, N.H. The Wolfeboro Police Dept. called in The HSUS to assist with rescue and long-term care of the dogs. (Meredith Lee/The HSUS)



Monitor staff
Friday, September 01, 2017

The Great Danes seized from a Wolfeboro mansion in June are evidence in the animal cruelty case against owner Christina Fay and veterinary witnesses should be heard in court before a judge considers placing the dogs back under her control, prosecutors argue.

Fay has pleaded not guilty to two misdemeanor charges of cruelty to animals and has filed an injunction requesting that the state stop allowing surgeries on the dogs, which remain under the control of the Humane Society of the United States.

Earlier this month, Fay claimed the dogs were “seized, not rescued” by law enforcement and should be placed in homes of her choosing while the case against her proceeds.

However, prosecutors argued Fay made her request the wrong way. In a filing released Friday, prosecutor Timothy Morgan said the dogs were taken from the home when authorities executed a search warrant, and Fay must argue for their return as part of the criminal case against her.

State law says property can be seized by officers executing a search warrant, and must be kept safely “under the direction of the court or justice so long as necessary to permit them to be produced or used as evidence in any trial.”

Authorities took more than 80 Great Danes from Fay’s mansion on June 16 and said they found the dogs living in filth and suffering from sores, infections and other health problems.

“The dogs remain the defendant’s property under law,” Fay’s attorneys argued in a motion filed earlier this month, “and she did not consent to the Humane Society of the United States scheduling or performing surgery on her dogs.”

Attorney Kent Barker of Nashua requested that the dogs be moved to homes where people have experience caring for this type of breed.

In Ossipee’s Superior Court on Wednesday, Judge Amy Ignatius declined to make a decision in the matter, pending Fay’s criminal case in district court.

“The issues raised are all directly related to the pending criminal charges in the circuit court,” Ignatius ruled.

A hearing in the criminal case has been scheduled for Wednesday. Prosecutors are prepared to argue that day against Fay putting the dogs in homes of her choosing, but asked for more time for a full hearing, so veterinary witnesses could be called.

Since the dogs have been removed from Fay’s home, at least two have died, according to published reports of the testimony earlier this week.