Breaking news: New Hampshire breeder who kept Great Danes in filthy conditions will serve jail time

By on May 11, 2018 with 15 Comments

Last year, the Humane Society of the United States assisted in an extraordinary rescue of 84 Great Danes, some sick, living in filthy conditions inside a New Hampshire mansion. Today, a judge sentenced the breeder, Christina Fay, to jail time, and admonished her for not showing any “signs of remorse” for what she did to the animals in her care.

“There has to be punishment for innocent animals who cannot stand up for themselves,” Judge Amy Ignatius said at the sentencing of Fay, who was found guilty of 17 counts of animal cruelty in March. “There was serious deterioration of conditions in that home and the jury found the dogs suffered as a result.”

In a previous trial last December, Fay was found guilty on 10 counts of misdemeanor cruelty by a judge. She was also ordered to pay $800,000 (for the costs of care for the dogs up to that date), but Fay appealed to a superior court for a jury trial: the one that produced a conviction on the 17 counts of cruelty.

Judge Ignatius sentenced Fay to 12 months in prison, of which nine months will be suspended. If the defendant submits a rehabilitation proposal and the court approves of the plan, the judge stated she might consider reducing the 90-day jail term to 30 days.

A hearing is scheduled for June 14, at which time the restitution and the rehoming of the dogs will be discussed, unless the defendant chooses to relinquish custody as part of a court-approved plan. According to observers in court today, it is clear that the judge has the welfare of the animals at the forefront of her mind, and we are hopeful of a positive outcome.

The whole saga of horrors began to unfold in June 2017, when members of our Animal Rescue Team and volunteers from the Pope Memorial SPCA and Conway Area Humane Society entered the opulent mansion alongside officials of Wolfeboro Police Department, which had requested our assistance. The responders encountered an overpowering smell, and feces and debris were smeared across all the walls to the point where the windows were opaque. A number of dogs in the home appeared to have spent countless hours in cages with no access to water. Many of the dogs were ill and in distress when we found them, and suffered from an array of health problems, including severe eye issues and symptoms associated with communicable illnesses.

We have led the effort to care for the dogs at an emergency animal shelter we constructed especially for them. This has been an expensive undertaking: the cost of constructing and maintaining a temporary animal shelter, staffing it with experienced consultants trained as veterinary technicians, professional dog trainers and animal shelter managers, bringing in Animal Rescue Team volunteers from all over the country, and providing extensive veterinary care to the dogs has cost the Humane Society of the United States more than $1.8 million to date.

We are eager to put the cruelty the dogs endured behind them and to partner with our shelter and rescue allies to find them the loving homes they deserve. We hope the court will award custody of the dogs to the state and the Humane Society of the United States. If the defendant does not appeal the forfeiture, we will pursue rehoming the dogs with energy and devotion.

We are also working with New Hampshire lawmakers and Gov. Chris Sununu to address the enormous financial burden on taxpayers and non-profit organizations for the care of animals legally seized from cruelty investigations. More than 30 other states now have such cost of care laws.

The New Hampshire state senate has already passed a bipartisan bill that puts some of the financial burden of caring for rescued animals on the perpetrators of the cruelty rather than on taxpayers, reforms commercial breeder regulations and strengthens penalties for egregious cruelty. The bill is now in conference committee along with a misguided house version that guts the goals of the senate bill and weakens existing animal cruelty laws that passed more recently. We are committed to ensuring a viable version of this bill that will benefit both animals and the residents of New Hampshire comes out of the conference committee, and we are grateful to Gov. Sununu and Senate Majority Leader Jeb Bradley, R-Wolfeboro, who introduced the Senate bill, for their leadership.

P.S. Earlier this month, I wrote about a cruelty case in Bangladesh where some men buried two dogs and 14 puppies alive. I am pleased to report that the security guard responsible for this crime has received a prison sentence of six months. This is the first time a prison sentence has been handed down in an animal cruelty case in Bangladesh, according to media outlets that reported the story.

Animal Rescue and Care, Companion Animals, Public Policy (Legal/Legislative)

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  1. Margaret Bostic says:

    Hopefully this poor excuse for a human being will be fined and put in jail for a long time. She should be profiled and be known publicly and Never allowed to own another precious animal.

    • Sonya Schmidt says:


    • Marla Horman says:

      According to the article, she has to do three months 🙄

    • Gayle A Connors says:

      Just saw on the news that no jail time, gets to keep two of the dogs and has to pay back all the money for the cost of care.. Not happy that she gets to keep two of these dogs . At least now these dogs can go to loving homes i hope !! Also hope that home inspections will be done to make sure the two dogs she gets to keep are being treated properly. She shouldn’t be getting them back and never should be able to have a dog in her care.

  2. Regina henley says:

    I have been contacting craigslist trying to do wwwy with there pet post. People see it as money maker. So they aren’t fixing there dogs. Charging outrageous prices. They buy them and steal dogd. Then sell them within a week for more money. When I had a dog years ago the dog was part of the family for life. I have a few other people that are in touch with craigslist. I hope they do away with pets. If someone has a registered pup then put them on petfinder. The shelters are loaded with dogs because craigslist promotes people making money off there pups and dogs. It bothers me to see people just throwing there dogs to anyone. Very sad

    • Paula Prindle says:

      I am in full agreement with your post..craigslist serves dog nappers, Dog flippers and Pit Bull fighters, there needs to be a NO Animals Policy enforced on all craigslist pages!

  3. Regina henley says:

    Told craigslist if they keep pets section then all post should be approved. Also there should be a cap on rehome fees and people should have proof of what they have spent. I’d really rather see the pet section gone. These poor little pups and dogs. Guess some people would sell there kids if they could. This world is crazy.

    • Catherine K says:

      To anyone who uses craigs list. Start sending comments about removing all animal sale postings. When organizations understand that their customers with ethics out weigh their customers that sell animals like they are a chair or sofa, then the listings will go away.

  4. Mary Cantlin says:

    I am a CPDT. I would love to adopt one of these beautiful animals and give it the home it deserves.

  5. margarita clayton says:

    Thanks for informing the public & yes, perpetrators need punishment so that all besides the perpetrator know / understand that cruelty to animals is not correct or acceptable. This needs to be the law. Thank you HSUS.

  6. Susan Hart says:

    Why on earth would anyone give this callous irresponsible woman a second chance with these dogs. She has already shown beyond a shadow of a doubt that she is incapable of managing the lives of these precious animals. Sounds like too many for one person anyway. Look at how much money and staff time the dogs’ rehabilitation is costing the HSUS, funded by donations and taxpayers. $1.8 million to date already. The woman should never be allowed to take responsibility for another pet. She had her chance. She blew it. Thank you HSUS and others for stepping up to rescue these innocent loving dogs who put their trust in us.

    • Catherine K says:

      She didn’t “have a chance” with animals. She doesn’t care about animals, she only cares about $$$$$$$ – that was all she saw when she looked at the dogs. She should have had a significantly longer jail sentence – then it would have had an impact.

  7. Catherine K says:

    Three months, with a possible reduction to 30 days, and a judge thinks this is punishment???????? If judges refuse to acknowledge that crimes against animals for monetary gain is the same as grand larceny then things will never change. This women should have received years in jail and then mandatory time in a shelter cleaning out cages and cleaning up vomit. When people like her are placed into the conditions they put their animals, we will start to see changes. Not before

  8. Linda Begovich says:

    First off I want to thank this Judge for giving this person Jail time etc. Thank you Humane Society of the U.S, Pope Memorial SPCA, Conway Area Humane Society and the Wolfeboro Police Department for rescuing these dogs and insuring this Animal Abuser gets what she deserves. It’s not often that a Police Department gets involved with an Animal Cruelty case. I am happy that you all came together on this. That’s what should be done for all Animal abusers in all our States. I’m proud of ALL of you…

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