After 29 Dogs Killed in Fire, Woman Pleads Not Guilty to Cruelty Charges
PLYMOUTH — A woman whose German shepherds died in fires at her Bristol property has pleaded not guilty to animal cruelty charges.
Jennifer "Bobbi" Choate has faced trouble in two states since 2016.
The most recent charges out of Bristol include leaving 29 dogs unattended overnight inside a structure with heat lamps attached to their cages, which resulted in a fire that killed all of them.
The other four charges accuse Choate of:
- Leaving seven dogs in wet, metal cages that were too small when temperatures were at or below 12 degrees.
- Leaving seven dogs in a basement without proper kennels or a source of heat when temperatures were at or below 12 degrees.
- Failing to provide care to a German shepherd that had a paw infection. The dog's paw had to be amputated in an emergency procedure to preserve the limb.
- Failing to provide care to a German shepherd who had an ear infection.
Choate also faces multiple charges in Alexandria for keeping 22 German shepherds in frigid temperatures without proper water. The dogs were seized by authorities.
The NH SPCA previously told NH1 News that Choate has a history of problematic behavior in Massachusetts.
All the animal cruelty charges are misdemeanors.
Animal rights activists in New Hampshire have been calling for tougher animal cruelty laws. In August, Gov. Chris Sununu revamped the Governor's Commission on the Humane Treatment of Animals after the seizure of 84 Great Danes from Christina Fays feces-filled mansion.
Fay was convicted on 10 counts of animal cruelty on Dec. 12. She was sentenced Dec. 21. Despite facing no jail time, a judge ordered her to pay almost $800,000 in restitution.
Material from The Associated Press contributed to this story.