Jury Agrees with Judge and Finds Great Dane Owner Guilty of Animal Cruelty
OSSIPEE — After a day of deliberations, a jury convicted a woman who kept dozens of Great Danes in a feces-filled mansion of 17 counts of animal cruelty.
Police arrested Christina Fay in June after finding 75 dogs inside her Wolfeboro home in deplorable conditions. Several were kept in cages without water and the floors of the home were so thickly coated with urine and feces that it created a "greasy, mushy mess" one officer testified at the first trial.
The 59-year-old Fay was convicted of the misdemeanors on Monday. The jury received the case on Friday.
Fay had already been found guilty of 10 counts of animal cruelty by a lower court judge in December. He ordered her to pay almost $800,000 in restitution but she did not have to serve any jail time. Fay appealed that conviction.
Fay's new trial started Feb. 27.
The jury recently toured Fay's 13,000 square-foot home in Wolfeboro. Most of the hardwood floors were removed. Most rooms are vacant.
The Humane Society for the United States said costs to care for the dogs has reached $1.3 million.
“Given the facts of the case and the compelling evidence the State presented, the jury was right to find the defendant guilty of animal cruelty," said Lindsay Hamrick, New Hampshire state director for the HSUS. "We are grateful to the Wolfeboro Police Department, prosecutors Steven Briden and Simon Brown, the Conway Area Humane Society and the Pope Memorial SPCA of Concord-Merrimack County for their incredible work and dedication to rescue and seek justice for these gentle giants. We would also like to thank everyone who donated to the care of these animals and the countless volunteers from The Humane Society of the United States' Animal Rescue Team, local humane societies, Disaster Animal Response Teams and veterinarians who gave their time to ensure these dogs received love and expert support each step of the way. Most of all, we would like to thank the two brave citizens who reported the conditions to law enforcement so that these dogs could be saved.
"While we are pleased that justice has been served, the suffering these animals endured at Fay’s hands could have been alleviated much sooner or avoided altogether if New Hampshire had stronger commercial breeding laws.”
Last week, the state Senate passed a bill to strengthen animal cruelty laws. The bill was prompted by the Fay case.
Fay's attorney did not immediately respond to messages seeking comment for this story. A sentencing hearing will be scheduled within the next 30 days.
Material from The Associated Press contributed to this story.