animal cruelty

Bea Lewis/Pool Photo

A Wolfeboro woman found guilty of animal cruelty for her mistreatment of dozens of Great Danes will avoid jail time.

Christina Fay was sentenced last month to serve 90 days, but a Carroll County Superior Court judge on Thursday modified that sentence after Fay submitted a plan for counseling.

[You can read NHPR's previous coverage of this case here.]

Todd Bookman/NHPR

A controversial animal cruelty bill appears dead after lawmakers in the New Hampshire House and Senate failed to reach a compromise.

The two chambers passed substantively different versions earlier this year despite hearing relatively similar testimony from animal welfare groups, law enforcement and so-called hobby breeders.

Bea Lewis/Pool Photo

A Wolfeboro dog breeder found guilty of animal cruelty has been ordered to serve 90 days in jail.

However, if Christina Fay's attorneys can present a counseling program that the judge finds acceptable, that sentence will be reduced to 30 days.

Fay’s sentence was handed down on Friday in Carroll County Superior Court by Judge Amy Ignatius, who presided over a two-week trial that resulted in guilty verdicts on all 17 counts of animal cruelty.  

Todd Bookman/NHPR

A Wolfeboro dog breeder found guilty of mistreating her 84 Great Danes will be sentenced in Carroll County Superior Court on Friday.

In a sentencing memorandum filed by prosecutors, the State is requesting the judge sentence Christina Fay, who was found guilty on 17 cruelty counts, to a year in jail, forfeit all of her dogs, and be barred from ever owning an animal for the remainder of her life.

MEREDITH LEE | THE HSUS

State lawmakers continue to grapple with how best to prevent animal cruelty. 

 

The House passed a bill last week that differs substantially from a Senate-passed version.

 

Senate Majority Leader Jeb Bradley says the House-amended bill would actually weaken state law. He is a sponsor of the original bill, which was drafted after an animal cruelty case in his hometown of Wolfeboro. 

 

N.H. Debates Changes to Animal Cruelty Laws

May 7, 2018
Meredith Lee, Humane Society of the U.S.

After several cases revealed animals found in squalid conditions in recent years, the state legislature set about tightening laws. However, the Senate and House have come up with vastly different versions. We'll hear the arguments behind each, and whether there's room for compromise. 

Courtesy, Human Society

The New Hampshire House on Wednesday approved an amended animal cruelty bill that backers say protects the due process rights of pet owners.

The bill, which passed the House on 222-111 vote, is substantially different than a Senate-backed bill, setting up a potential impasse on final legislation.

Todd Bookman/NHPR

One of the most high profile pieces of legislation moving through the New Hampshire Statehouse right now isn’t Medicaid expansion, or a gun bill, or potential repeal of the death penalty.

It’s about animals.

NHPR File Photo

Opponents of a bill that seeks to increase regulation of commercial dog breeders say the measure will do little to prevent cases of animal cruelty.

During a public hearing on Wednesday, Jane Barlow Roy with the New Hampshire Veterinary Medical Association told a House Environment and Agriculture Committee that while she believes Senate Bill 569 is well intentioned, its new regulations won’t protect animals from harm and doesn’t stop people from hoarding pets.

Todd Bookman/NHPR

It look just a few hours for a jury to find Christina Fay guilty on all 17 counts, a fast ending to one of the highest profile animal abuse cases in recent history.

During a two-week trial in Carroll County Superior Court, jurors heard testimony from law enforcement and veterinarians who described the squalid conditions inside Fay’s 13,000 square foot Wolfeboro estate last June, when police seized 75 Great Danes. Some of the dogs were in need of immediate medical care, suffering from both skin and gastrointestinal issues.

Todd Bookman/NHPR

Closing arguments wrapped up Friday in the case of a Wolfeboro, New Hampshire dog breeder facing 17 counts of animal cruelty.

Christina Fay was found guilty in a lower court last year and sentenced to roughly $800,000 in fines and the forfeiture of all but one of her 75 Great Danes. The dogs were removed from her home during a raid last June, and remain in the care of the Humane Society.

Todd Bookman/NHPR

The New Hampshire Senate passed a bill on Thursday that backers say would better protect animals from cruelty and neglect.

The legislation comes on the heels of several high profile cases, including the removal of 75 Great Danes from a home in Wolfeboro. Under current law, that breeder didn’t qualify as running a commercial kennel, and therefore wasn’t subject to inspection.

Todd Bookman/NHPR

The case of Christina Fay made international headlines last summer, in part, because of where the high-end dog breeder lived with her European Great Danes: a 13,000 square foot home set on 53 secluded acres with a gated entrance and view of Lake Winnipesaukee.

In short, it's not the typical setting for an animal cruelty case.

Todd Bookman/NHPR

State lawmakers are seeking to tighten commercial breeding regulations following a string of high profile animal abuse cases.

Senate Bill 569 would redefine what constitutes a commercial kennel, as well as create new inspector positions within the Department of Agriculture.

Todd Bookman / NHPR

A Senate committee is taking up a bill aimed at strengthening New Hampshire's animal cruelty laws after a Wolfeboro breeder was accused of keeping dozens of Great Danes in filthy conditions.

The Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee is holding a public hearing Tuesday on the bill, which relieves the financial burden on taxpayers when animals are seized in cruelty cases and redefines what constitutes a commercial breeder under state law.

The bill requires mandatory, unannounced inspections of pet stores, animal shelters, rescues and commercial breeders.

Allegra Boverman for NHPR

After a high profile case of animal cruelty, New Hampshire lawmakers are working on legislation to tighten commercial breeding regulations.

Todd Bookman/NHPR

The story of Christina Fay and her dogs is a story of sharp contrasts. There is the $1.5 million dollar mansion where Fay lived with dozens of European Great Danes.

Fay compared these big, valuable dogs to works of art, her “Rembrandts and Van Goghs.” She painted herself as a high-end breeder, set on improving the bloodline.

Todd Bookman / NHPR

A Wolfeboro dog breeder has been found guilty of 10 counts of animal cruelty in a case that gained international attention.

In June, police raided the 13,000-square-foot home of Christina Fay, removing 75 European Great Danes from her care. Law enforcement described a squalid scene inside the home, with animals coated in their own waste, floors slick with urine, and many dogs in need of immediate medical care.

Todd Bookman/NHPR

Lyric, Hamlet, ZZ and Spook. Fantasia and Joue. To Christina Fay, they were works of art, animals lovingly cared for in her Wolfeboro mansion.

To prosecutors, these European Great Danes—75 in total—all removed from Fay’s care in June, were victims of mistreatment and cruelty.

Todd Bookman/NHPR

A Wolfeboro woman accused of animal cruelty says she treated her 75 European Great Danes like they were her own children, and deserves to have them returned to her.

Lauren Chooljian for NHPR

Evan Bennett has wanted to be in a pig scramble since he was four years old. And now that he’s nine, it feels like he’s been waiting pretty much forever.

He’s watched two of his older brothers get in a pen at the Deerfield Fair, chasing piglets in front of big crowds, trying to shove them into burlap sacks.

This year, Evan finally got his chance. But while he and five other kids scrambled after black, spotted piglets, protesters from around New England greeted fair visitors with signs that called the event “torture” and “animal abuse.”

Youtuber Nadia Anne

For many New England families, the official signs of fall include foliage, apple cider donuts and a trip to the Deerfield Fair. But one Chester resident is hoping that she can convince people to think a little differently about one of the fair’s long-standing traditions: The Pig Scramble.

Meredith Lee | The HSUS

A Wolfeboro woman accused of running a Great Dane ‘puppy mill’ is petitioning the court to have her dogs returned to her.

Christina Fay is facing a dozen counts of animal cruelty after 75 Great Danes were removed from her home earlier this summer. The dogs were alleged to be living in filthy conditions, with some suffering from infections.

(You can find NHPR's previous coverage of this story here.)

Courtesy of Meredith Lee/Humane Society of the U.S.

A Wolfeboro woman is facing 12 additional charges of animal cruelty following the removal of dozens of Great Dane dogs from her mansion in Wolfeboro.

In a story that grabbed national headlines in June, police raided a 13,000-square-foot mansion owned by Christina Fay. Inside, they found 75 European Great Dane dogs, many of which were alleged to be in poor physical condition.

Understanding And Preventing Animal Abuse

Jun 27, 2017

The story of Great Danes rescued from a Wolfeboro mansion is just the latest in New Hampshire to raise questions about how and why such extreme situations develop. Should animal breeding laws be tightened? And what are the signs of mental health issues or social isolation that can lead to the hoarding of pets? 


Weekly N.H. News Roundup: June 23, 2017

Jun 23, 2017

Catch up on this week's stop N.H. stories:  The New Hampshire House and Senate pass an $11.7 billion budget. Despite a Republican majority, GOP leaders had to work hard to pass this spending plan, but it's now on its way to the Governor's desk.  Another fraught issue for both sides of the aisle: a bill funding full-day kindergarten.  And more than 80 Great Dane dogs were rescued from a puppy mill operating out of a mansion in Wolfeboro.

Meredith Lee/The HSUS

Officials have uncovered what’s being described as a puppy mill in a mansion in the town of Wolfeboro.

Eighty-four Great Danes were discovered as part of a raid carried out Friday. Investigators say the dogs were living in squalid conditions.

The owner of the house – Christina Fay – was arrested and charged with two misdemeanor counts of animal neglect. She’s free on bail and will be arraigned in August.

Lindsay Hamrick is New Hampshire state director of the Humane Society of the United States, and was part of the team that carried out this rescue operation.