In June 2017, more than 80 Great Danes were rescued from a suspected puppy mill in New Hampshire. The puppies had been living in horrendous conditions, and the Humane Society of the United States (HSUS), along with local authorities, rescued the animals after responding to animal neglect alligations at the property.
As previously reported, the 84 Great Danes were living with limited access to food or water, and the smell of ammonia, feces and raw chicken overwhelmed the rescuers on site (some of the horror was caught on film as they taped the rescue efforts).
On March 12, more than 6 months after the dogs were brought to safety, Christina Fay, the woman responsible for endangering the well-being of these dogs, was found guilty of 17 counts of animal cruelty.
"In December, a district court convicted and sentenced Fay on 10 counts of animal cruelty, a decision she appealed," according to a blog post from HSUS president and CEO Kitty Block. "The jury that handed down today’s decision after a two-week trial at the Carroll County Superior Court in Ossipee, New Hampshire, heard compelling testimony from witnesses, including a veterinarian experienced in investigating animal cruelty cases who testified that conditions within Fay’s home were the worst she had ever seen."
Fay's conviction is being hailed as a "huge victory" against "commercial breeders who neglect and mistreat the animals in their care," according to Block's post. Fay's hearing to determine her sentencing, as well as who will get custody of the dogs, is expected to be scheduled within the next month.
Many of the dogs that were found on Fay's New Hampshire property suffered major health issues, and getting them proper care and housing cost the HSUS over $1 million.
Because of the high cost of care for abused animals, Block also announced that the organization has been working with New Hampshire lawmakers to address the enormous financial burden on taxpayers and non-profit organizations in caring for animals legally seized from cruelty investigations. As a result, the New Hampshire state Senate passed a bill that, "puts the financial burden of caring for rescued animals on the perpetrators of the cruelty involved, rather than on taxpayers," according to the post.
Image via The Humane Society of the United States