Wolfeboro

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.

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

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.

Meredith Lee | The HSUS

Former employees of New Hampshire dog breeder Christina Fay say her home's floors were covered in dog urine and feces, and an officer says the property was such a mess it looked like it had been burglarized when 84 Great Danes were seized in June.

Fay has pleaded not guilty to 12 misdemeanor animal cruelty charges. She went on trial Monday, four months after the animals were removed from her Wolfeboro mansion.

Meredith Lee/Humane Society of the U.S.

A Wolfeboro woman accused of animal cruelty will not get her dogs back before trial.

In a story that garnered national attention, 75 European Great Danes were removed from the home of Christina Fay in June.

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.

Todd Bookman/NHPR

Governor Chris Sununu is backing stricter commercial breeding regulations. The move follows the rescue of 84 Great Danes from a suspected puppy mill in Wolfeboro earlier this year.

Under current state law, anyone who sells more than ten litters of puppies each year, or 50 individual dogs, must register as a commercial breeder. Animal rights activists say that threshold is too high, pointing to Vermont, which requires a license for the sale of just three litters.

Gov. Sununu says tightening the rules would ensure greater safety.

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.

Sean Hurley

New Hampshire’s two model sailboat clubs got together in Wolfeboro for a regatta known as the Sasquatch Footy.

Bob Rice sits on a bench overlooking the wind scratched surface of Wolfeboro's Back Bay Harbor.  He watches the remote control sailboats tack back and forth and pivot around the floating white marks.  

Oh I think it's dandy.  You get boats of this size and more people can play with them.

Sean Hurley

Although Police Commissioner Robert Copeland submitted a letter of resignation earlier today, the people of Wolfeboro worry about the possible long-term impact the racial controversy could have on their town. NHPR's Sean Hurley spoke with residents over the weekend, before Copeland’s resignation and looks more closely at what led to today’s events.

On Sunday Joanne Parise sat on the shore of Wolfeboro Bay.  On nearby Main Street, families lined up for ice cream, gazed in shop windows, and consulted maps and guidebooks.  The summer tourist season has already begun. 

The iconic sign welcoming visitors to Wolfeboro, NH
Goldeneye / Flickr Creative Commons

Wolfeboro Police Commissioner Robert Copeland has resigned, according to the town police department. 

This move follows days of controversy after reports last week that he publicly used a racial slur to describe President Obama.  Copeland admitted to using the term when a resident sent him an email complaint, writing back, “For this I do not apologize—he meets and exceeds my criteria for such.”

Tim Golden / Flickr Creative Commons

The Wolfeboro Board of Selectmen and Town Manager have posted a statement on the town's website condemning comments by local Police Commissioner Robert Copeland, and asking him to resign.   This comes after news reports earlier this week detailed racist comments by Copeland.

Goldeneye via Flickr CC

New Hampshire officials are getting hit with calls, emails and tweets reacting to racist comments made by a town police commissioner.

Jim Bouley, mayor of the capital city of Concord, said the reaction from as far away as California included threats to cancel vacations in New Hampshire. The calls started Thursday after news reports detailed comments by Wolfeboro Police Commissioner Robert Copeland, who admitted using the N-word to describe President Barack Obama.

Dave Delay via Flickr/Creative Commons

Mitt Romney is off the campaign trail this week. He’s vacationing at his home in Wolfeboro, New Hampshire, but the Republican presidential candidate is set to march in the town’s 4th of July parade.

And that’s likely to bring more attention than usual to Wolfeboro and its festivities this Independence Day.

Grand Marshal Harold Chamberlin has organized Wolfeboro’s 4th of July parade for 17 years. He tells All Things Considered host Brady Carlson about the parade and whether Romney's participation means any changes to his work.