A New Hampshire court convicted Christina Fay of animal cruelty following the rescue of 84 Great Danes from a commercial breeding operation Fay managed out of her Wolfeboro, New Hampshire, mansion.

The Honorable Judge Charles Greenhalgh handed down a conviction of 10 counts of animal cruelty in a 20-page order (PDF) that included detailed findings of fact supporting each of the 10 guilty verdicts. Judge Greenhalgh noted that a veterinarian experienced in investigating animal cruelty cases testified that “the conditions within the Defendant’s home [were] the worst she had ever seen.”

In summarizing the evidence of the defendant’s guilt, the Court stated in part:

“The totality of evidence, including pictures, video and testimony from witnesses in or around Defendant's home, between the beginning of May and June 16, 2017, consistently show the same conditions. These included an accumulation of feces and urine, which was not cleaned and built up over time to a point that made walking in the home difficult. In addition, there was a pervasive ammonia odor, so strong that veterinarians and others with experience working in kennels, and with large groups of animals, were unable to remain in the home without taking frequent breaks to get fresh air. The dogs were forced to live in filthy, unsanitary conditions. Some were lying for many days in their own feces and urine and it was covering their coats.”

A sentencing hearing will be scheduled within 30 days. New Hampshire law states that upon a person’s conviction of cruelty, the Court has discretion to determine the fate of victimized animals. The Court will determine the matter of disposition of the dogs and restitution at the sentencing hearing.

Lindsay Hamrick, New Hampshire state director for the Humane Society of the United States, said: “Given the facts of the case and the compelling evidence the State presented, Judge Greenhalgh was right to find the defendant guilty of animal cruelty. The suffering these animals endured at Fay’s hands could have been alleviated much sooner or prevented if New Hampshire had stronger commercial breeding laws.”

The HSUS is committed to passing state legislation to reform commercial breeder regulations, to strengthen penalties for egregious cruelty and to address the enormous financial burden placed on taxpayers and non-profit organizations to care for animals legally seized from cruelty investigations. Senate Majority Leader, Jeb Bradley, R-Wolfeboro, with bipartisan support from half of the state’s senators, has introduced legislation to address these issues.

The HSUS is grateful to the Wolfeboro Police Department and prosecutors Timothy Morgan and Simon Brown for their diligent work to see this case through.

Chief Dean Rondeau of the Wolfeboro Police Department said: “We are thrilled The Honorable Judge Greenhalgh handed down a conviction of 10 counts of animal cruelty. I would like to extend my heartfelt thanks to prosecutors Simon Brown and Timothy Morgan, as well as the Humane Society of the United States, Conway Area Humane Society and Pope Memorial SPCA for their incredible work and dedication to rescuing and seeking justice for these Great Danes.”

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