The Humane Society of the United States announced Saturday that it assisted the Wolfeboro Police Department in the rescue of 84 Great Danes from a suspected puppy mill in New Hampshire.
Seventy-five of the dogs were taken from a residence and business in Wolfeboro, and another nine puppies were rescued from a Bartlett location.
Police served search and arrest warrants on the Wolfeboro property at 149 Warren Sands Road about 8:30 a.m. Friday in response to ongoing reports of animal cruelty and neglect.
Police said they found the dogs living in unsafe and unsanitary conditions with limited access to food or water. The dogs were sliding on their own feces as they walked and several had eyelids so swollen their eyes were red. Rescuers said the smell of ammonia, feces and raw chicken overwhelmed rescuers.
“I’ve never seen conditions this bad in more than 21 years of law enforcement,” Wolfeboro Police Chief Dean Rondeau said. “Words cannot describe the absolute abhorrent conditions these animals were living in. I would like to extend my heartfelt thanks to the Humane Society of the United States, Conway Area Humane Society and Pope Memorial SPCA, whose expert opinion and counsel was well-received, as well as the other local organizations who assisted at the scene.”
Wolfeboro police said the dogs were in the custody of 60-year-old Christina Fay, who owns and operates De La Sang Monde Great Danes. Police said they had previously dealt with Fay about barking dog complaints and began this investigation May 8.
Fay was arrested and faces two misdemeanor charges of animal neglect. She is out on bail and has a court date for Aug. 2. More charges are possible as the investigation continues.
The dogs were brought to a temporary emergency animal shelter where they will receive care for at least the next four months. They will not be up for adoption until after the legal proceedings as they are now considered to be evidence.
The Humane Society said it rarely needs to intervene in New Hampshire animal neglect cases because the state’s animal shelters have the resources to handle most cases. But the financial burden of long-term care for these dogs required additional assistance.
WEBVTT SIOBHAN: THE INVESTIGATIONLASTED FIVE WEEKS AND INVOLVEDSEVERAL AGENCIES.THE POLICE CHIEF SAYS THECONDITIONS IN THE HOME ARE SOMEOF THE WORST HE HAS SEEN.>> THESE ARE LARGE DOGS.SIOBHAN: 75 GREAT DANES, SOME ASYOUNG AS A WEEK OLD, FOUNDLIVING IN HORRIBLE CONDITIONS.>> THE DOGS WERE LIVING IN FILTHPSURROUNDED BY WASTE.SIOBHAN: NINE OTHER PUPPIES WEREREMOVED FROM A SECOND LOCATION.CHRISTINA FAY IS FACING TWOCOUNTS OF ANIMAL NEGLECT.>> THIS IS NOT JUST ABOUT A FEWDOGS BEING NEGLECTED.IT IS ABOUT RECKLESS CONDUCT.SIOBHAN: POLICE WERE CALLEDTHEIR MULTIPLE TIMES OVER THEPAST TWO YEARS FOR NOISECOMPLAINTS.UNDER A COURT ORDER, SHE IS NOLONGER ALLOWED TO CARE FOR ANYKIND OF ANIMAL, NOWACCUSED OF RUNNING A PUPPY MILL.>> THEY UTILIZE HIDDENPRACTICES.SIOBHAN: SOME OF THE DOGSREQUIRED IMMEDIATE MEDICALCONDITIONS — ATTENTION THATCOULD COST TENS OF THOUSANDS OFDOLLARS.THE HUMANE SOCIETY IS TAKINGOVER THE CARE OF THE ANIMALS.BECAUSE OF THE NUMBER AND SIZEOF THE DOGS, HORSE TRAILERSREDUCED TO RELOCATE THEM.>> THIS IS AN ENORMOUS OPERATIONEVEN FOR US, EVEN THOUGH WE DOTHIS ALL AROUND THE COUNTRY.SIOBHAN: WHEN THE DOGS ARENURSED BACK TO HEALTH, THEY WILLNOT BE UP FOR ADOPTION UNTIL THELEGAL PROCESS ENDS BECAUSE THEYARE CONSIDERED EVIDENCE.WORKERS ARE STILL IN SHOCK.>> NOTHING ANY ANIMAL SHOULD BESUBJECT TO.>> I GOT CHOKED UP SEEING THESEANIMALS AND THE CONDITIONS,BEING AN ANIMAL LOVER IT ISTERRIBLE TO SEE SOMEONE TREATANIMALS LIKE THIS.SIOBHAN: THE CASE REMAINS UNDERTHE SEDITION.