Ahead of Verdict, Judge Dismisses 2 Charges Against Wolfeboro Great Dane Owner
Photo courtesy - The Humane Society of the United States (HSUS) - Fantasia, one of the Great Danes seized from Christina Fay's Wolfeboro home back in June 2017.
OSSIPEE — Attorneys for the Wolfeboro woman facing 12 misdemeanor counts of animal cruelty for the treatment and living conditions of 75 Great Danes have filed another motion to dismiss, based on the information learned at trial.
The judge reviewed the motion and ruled Tuesday he would dismiss two charges against Christina Fay, but the remaining 10 would stand.
The charges Judge Charles Greenhalgh agreed to dismiss were in regard to a condition known as cherry eye as well as maggot-infested chicken allegedly fed to the Great Danes.
READ: 16-year-old worker says maggots poured from box of chicken at NH mansion where 84 dogs rescued
According to the judge's response to the motion, "Complaint 767C alleges that the Defendant deprived the dogs in her care of treatment for cherry eye".
The judge wrote that the state's witness, Dr. Alison Clode testified that cherry eye is indeed common in dogs, and does not always affect a dog's health if left untreated. Clode said cherry eye must be evaluated on a case-by-case basis. In her testimony, she said even with surgery, cherry eye could reappear later.
Clode continued that when she examined a dog known as Fantasia, it was the worst case of cherry eye she'd seen.
Greenhalgh wrote, "Fantasia's cherry eye reappeared and she was scheduled for surgery again but was seized before the surgery could occur. The evidence of cherry eye, viewed in its entirety, given the State the benefit of all reasonable inferences, shows the Defendant was aware of the condition in her dogs and sought to treat it. Therefore, her actions with respect to this condition show that she met the minimum standard of care."
The general complaint that the dogs were deprived of treatment for cherry eye, was dismissed; however, the judge denied the motion to dismiss the more specific charge, referring to the treatment and care of Fantasia.
The second complaint Greenhalgh agreed to dismiss was Complain 771C which alleges Fay fed the dogs food infested with maggots. Greenhalgh writes despite one witness, Annie Newell, testifying she witnessed maggot infested chicken at the Fay home, there was no testimony confirming that this meat was actually fed to any of the Great Danes. For that reason, Greenhalgh wrote, "Accordingly the State's evidence is not sufficient prove (sic), beyond a reasonable doubt that the Defendant violated RSA 644:8111 (a), with respect to the complaint.
The defendant's motion to dismiss the other charges was denied by Greenhalgh.
Lindsay Hamrick, New Hampshire State Director for the Humane Society of the United States issued a statement regarding the end of the Great Dane trial and new legislation on the horizon.
“We believe the State presented compelling evidence of cruelty to animals and that the evidence speaks for itself," Hamrick wrote. "New Hampshire is a state of animal lovers, and the Humane Society of the United States is grateful to learn that that this week, State Senate Majority Leader Jeb Bradley (R-Wolfeboro) is introducing legislation that will go far in aligning state policy with the values of New Hampshire’s citizens. That legislation will reform commercial breeder regulations and also address the enormous financial burden on taxpayers and non-profit organizations in caring for animals legally seized from cruelty investigations. The HSUS has spent nearly half a million dollars caring for the Great Danes involved in the Wolfeboro case.”
There is no word yet from the court on when a verdict will be read. Meanwhile, the 70+ Great Dane dogs remain at a temporary shelter set up by the Humane Society of the United States.
Video courtesy - HSUS