Tuesday, June 20, 2017

New Hampshire: Affidavit describes conditions at Tina Fay's Great Dane breeding facility

NEW HAMPSHIRE --  Local residents, along with people from around the country and the world, are rallying to support the dozens of Great Danes that taken from allegedly squalid conditions at a home last week.

Fundraisers have been organized in the area to help the dogs.

Eighty-four Great Danes were rescued last Friday from the residence and commercial breeding operation at locations in Wolfeboro and Bartlett.

Nine dogs taken from Wolfeboro in the weeks leading up to Friday's rescue are recuperating at Conway Area Humane Society.


The seizure was the result of an investigation that began May 8 by law enforcement and cruelty investigators. The Wolfeboro Police Department executed arrest and search warrants at 149 Warren Sands Road in Wolfeboro, at a business called De La Sang Monde Great Danes.

Seventy-five animals were removed, along with evidence of alleged animal cruelty and neglect.

The owner/operator, Christina Fay, 59, of Wolfeboro, was arrested on two misdemeanor counts of animal neglect. She was taken to the Carroll County Jail, where she was processed and bailed with a court date of Aug. 2 in Third Circuit Court in Ossipee.


Another nine puppies were removed from Fay's custody at a Bartlett location.

An [unnamed] administrator for De La Sang Monde Great Danes' Facebook page told People magazine, which brought worldwide attention to the story, in a Facebook message:

"All I have to (say) is that TV stories never reflect the real truth. I love my dogs and I feed them. All of this was a TV show. I will prove that. Having more than 70 dogs is equal to lots of poo and (urine.) We have to clean every day ... police arrive in my house before all the clean work, that is the reason why they found my place with poo and (urine)."


The Sun reached out to De La Sang Monde Great Danes' Facebook for comment, and the [unnamed] administrator said it would be taken down as people were writing hateful messages on the page.

"She is a great person she is a real animal lover — she would never make suffer her dogs or any animal," said the Facebook page administrator.

The animal neglect complaint from police charged that Fay did "without lawful authority negligently deprive or cause to be deprived, animals, Great Dane dogs, in her possession or custody necessary care or sustenance, by not providing adequate water or food."

The complaint says Fay did "knowingly permit or cause animals in per possession or custody, Great Dane dogs, to be subjected to cruelty, inhumane treatment, or unnecessary suffering by keeping them in an environment where they live in their own feces and urine, are not properly treated for disease and injuries and are fed infested food."

She is free on $10,000 personal recognizance.


Fay has lived at the Wolfeboro address for two years with her son, Edward, according to documents filed in court (Note: Another article stated an adult son named Ned lived in the home with her). Police have had about a half-dozen complaints during that span to include a 2015 dog bite and several barking complaints.

On May 4, a 16-year-old employee handed photos to Lakes Region Humane Society. Lakes Region Humane Society then shared them with Pope Memorial SPCA, which turned them over to Wolfeboro police, which led to the dogs' seizure.

The police affidavit alleges that not only were the dogs' living quarters rife with feces and urine but the dogs also were allegedly fed rancid raw chicken infested with maggots. Dogs were underweight, suffering from maladies like cherry eye and viral infections.


Bartlett veterinarian Dr. Kate Battenfelder was identified in the affidavit as Fay's main vet, who "agreed that Mrs. Fay has gotten out of hand with the number of dogs she has."

On Tuesday afternoon, Battenfelder released a statement through her representative, Erik Bernstein of Bernstein Crisis Management, a company that specializes in restoring online reputations:

"In our interactions with Tina she appeared to have the funds and capacity to maintain a large number of animals. As dog lovers ourselves it hurts our hearts to see the images that have come out, and we regret not knowing the situation sooner so that we could have taken action."


Marilyn Kelly, who works for the Conway Area Humane Society but also part-time for Fay, provided information to police, telling them, according to the affidavit:

"she had been employed by Mrs. Fay for approximately three weeks (as of May 24) as a kennel assistant. ... On her first day of work, she was horrified with the living conditions of the animals ... The house is covered in animal waste as the dogs rarely go out and none of the dogs are housebroken. ... 

"Marilyn stated that she believes there are 78 dogs in the residence. There was a litter of nine puppies; however, five had died. One of the puppies has a broken femur and was supposed to be seen by a veterinarian on May 22; however, Ms. Fay thought 'it was better.'"


Fay, who was responding to an officer serving paperwork, is quoted in the affidavit saying she hoped to relocate to Canterbury and that she had difficulty getting hold of Wolfeboro's animal control officer.

The dogs seized last Friday are being kept by the Humane Society of the United States at an undisclosed location as they are evidence in the criminal case against Fay.

HSUS' state director Lindsay Hamrick said the cost of the rescue would likely outpace the donations. She added the HSUS brought in a couple of tractor trailer trucks and a horse trailer to help move the dogs. She said the bill so far has topped $10,000.

"We are definitely looking for donations," said Hamrick, who said updates about the cost of the dogs' care and total donations will be posted to Humanesociety.org/rescueteam soon.

Meanwhile, Wolfeboro police said on Facebook that donations should be directed to HSUS and Conway Area Humane Society as the animals are not in police custody.

Police are pleased with the support the dogs are getting.

"We have been overwhelmed by support from across the country," the department said on Facebook. "We have heard from people in NH, VT, RI, CT, MA, NY and even Washington state and Italy! Some want to adopt and others looking to send a donation. We truly appreciate all the support, but again, please try calling one of the above agencies (HSUS and CAHS)."

Virginia Moore of Conway Area Humane Society said they have been getting donations online and from walk-ins. So far they have gotten about $6,000. Most of the donations are from people in New Hampshire and Maine.


Donated items include towels, Kong toys, cleaning supplies, paper towels, laundry detergent and bleach.

The Conway Area Humane Society posted to Facebook on Tuesday that a reporter from the Daily Mail of London, England, came by the shelter to take photos.

Hamrick said the case, which was featured in People magazine, has been one of the best-publicized she has ever seen. She said HSUS believes that the public should know New Hampshire needs stronger laws in animal neglect cases and that people should not purchase animals online if they don't know how how they are being raised.

Meanwhile, the Red Parka Steakhouse & Pub in Glen and the Shannon Door Pub and Restaurant in Jackson are both holding fundraisers for the rescued Great Danes.

The Red Parka's started Tuesday and will run through July 3.

"Conway Area Humane Society needs our help," states the Red Parka's Facebook page. "They have taken in nine of the horribly abused Great Danes that you have been reading about. These gentle giants need a lot of care and a lot of food. If you donate $5 on your dinner bill, we will give you a $5 coupon to use on your next visit. No animal should have to suffer like these poor creatures."


The Shannon Door Pub and Restaurant in Jackson will be having a "Pizza for Pets" fundraiser on June 29 at 4 p.m. Shannon Door will donate $1 for every pizza sold, and there will be a raffle.

This is Conway Area Humane Society's annual fundraiser, according to a Shannon Door employee, but a fundraising activity for the Great Danes also will be held that day.


(Conway Daily Sun - June 20, 2017)