Today, the Humane Society of the United States lauded Judge Charles Greenhalgh for his well-considered sentencing of Christina Fay on 10 counts of criminal animal cruelty in a high-profile case involving 84 Great Danes. HSUS has called upon the defendant to accept the judgment so that the dogs she victimized can be adopted into permanent homes as soon as possible. Her continued efforts to drag out this legal proceeding are precluding the dogs from being adopted and increasing costs to the HSUS and to Ms. Fay herself.
The Court’s sentence reflects the seriousness of the crime and a commitment to ensuring the dogs’ safety, and the safety of future animals, by imposing a ban on ownership of any kind of animal for the defendant’s entire life, with the exception of one spayed or neutered animal. The ownership of the remaining 79 dogs was awarded to the State so that the Humane Society of the United States can place them into loving, adoptive homes. The Court issued a 12 month suspended jail sentence for each of the ten animal cruelty convictions.
Ms. Fay has appealed to the Superior Court, and upon paying a $2,000 bond per dog, will delay the ability for the HSUS to place the dogs into permanent homes. Ms. Fay can expedite the dogs’ pathway into their forever homes by accepting the Court’s decision.
“The dogs have been through enough anguish and suffering and deserve to move on and live the rest of their lives in happy and permanent homes,” said Lindsay Hamrick, New Hampshire state director for the HSUS. “If Ms. Fay wants to show she’s concerned about the well-being of dogs, the single best thing she can do is withdraw her appeal and let the dogs be adopted by responsible owners to start the final chapter of their lives.”
Senate Majority Leader, Jeb Bradley (R-Wolfeboro) has introduced legislation that would strengthen commercial breeder regulations and create a process by which a judge may determine a reasonable amount for a defendant to pay toward the costs to care for animals—as in this case, where the costs have reached close to one million dollars—who are legally seized in a cruelty investigation. A Senate committee will hold a public hearing in January or February.
“This was a collaborative effort led by the Wolfeboro Police Department and is a result of two brave citizens who witnessed extreme animal suffering in Ms. Fay’s home and reported their concerns to law enforcement,” added Ms. Hamrick. “To them, and all of our partners, we are grateful.”