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  • Writer's pictureGina Scrofano

Judge Denies Motions Made By Defense In NH Great Dane Case

On October 3rd, a motion hearing was held before Circuit Court Judge Greenhalgh regarding the Wolfeboro Great Dane case and the animal cruelty charges against suspected puppy mill owner, Christina Fay.

Motion for Return of Property (Including the Great Danes)

Among the multiple motions made, were requests to return the dogs to the Defendant, or have 31 of the dogs relocated to a home of the Defendant's choosing.

Those two motions were denied by Judge Greenhalgh citing that the seizure of the animals was under NH law (RSA 644:8) and with the intent to ensure their safety and proper care. He followed up noting, "...the risk of returning the dogs to the care and custody of the Defendant now, is simply too great."

Motion to Suppress Search Warrant and Motion to Quash

The Defense also filed a motion to suppress the search warrant and to quash (nullify) most of the animal cruelty charges that have been filed against Fay, claiming that there was not probable cause to issue the search warrant and that the charges lack sufficient information for the Defendant to prepare a defense.

Michael Strauch, a police officer for 12 years, 10 being with the Wolfeboro PD, who is also a canine handler, completed the application for the search warrant which the Defense contends lacked sufficient information.

However, Judge Greenhalgh also wisely denied that motion, acknowledging that when applying for the warrant, officer Strauch interviewed multiple witnesses, including two veterinarians who had recently treated some of the dogs owned by the Defendant and two individuals who worked for the Defendant, and also reviewed pictures of the premises provided by witnesses.

Officer Strauch also testified as to the unsanitary conditions of the property which he witnessed himself when looking through a window and standing in the open doorway of the mansion while serving a summons (regarding a separate complaint) to the Defendant prior to applying for the warrant.

After reviewing the charges in great detail, the Judge also confirmed, "Each of the complaints filed by the State contain sufficient detail to allow the Defendant to prepare for trial."

More Senseless Allegations Made By The Defense

Attorney Kent Barker seemed to forget that the Great Danes are considered evidence in a criminal case and dove into quite the rhetoric in which he expressed his utter shock that, "the dogs are kept at a secret location." Barker stated that he doesn't understand why their location is undisclosed and that it "boggles his mind" as to why that is.

Considering Barker also confirmed he visited the shelter himself on October 2nd to view the dogs, we can only assume he is referring to the fact that the location is undisclosed to the Defendant and the public, which is not unusual regarding evidence in pending criminal cases.

When referring to the fact that the dogs are currently at the shelter provided by the Humane Society of the United States (HSUS), he went on stating, "Where they get this power, who gave it to them, and how it's fair, is beyond me."

Barker also reiterated his previous claims that some of Fay's dogs were taken to a recent event for the Governor and used to raise money for the HSUS.

He finished his performance by implying that the HSUS has engineered the seizure of the Great Danes as, "...part of an overall plan that somebody in Washington apparently has cooked up to try to make some dough."

The Facts

Prosecutor Simon Brown fittingly referred to Brown's statement as a "good conspiracy theory," and rationally urged the Court to focus on the facts of the case.

And as Judge Greenhalgh has confirmed, the facts justify the lawful search warrant, seizure of the animals, charges filed and the continuation of proper care and custody of the Great Danes, which is currently not in the hands of the Defendant.

Regarding the HSUS, it has been confirmed several times that the organization's involvement is that of a supportive role to the Wolfeboro PD and the State, which is entirely in accordance with the law, otherwise the Judge certainly wouldn’t have denied the request to have the dogs relocated. The support of HSUS was vital for this particular case due to logistics and the sheer number of animals involved. Local shelters do not have the capacity to house 75 or more large Great Danes, and to spread them among multiple locations would be a health risk because of the contagious infections the dogs were suffering from. The HSUS is also covering the cost of the care for the Great Danes while the case is prosecuted, which the organization estimates will total at least $500,000 and would have otherwise been an expense covered by the State and therefore tax paying residents.

It was also previously confirmed that the claims of Fay's puppies being used to raise money for the HSUS at the 'Governor's event' are false. The Defendant does not own the particular puppies brought to the event, which was not a fundraiser, but for Governor Sununu to announce his support for stronger animal cruelty laws in NH. Laws that this case has undoubtedly proven are a grave necessity.

Hope For Justice

We could not have asked for a better ruling on these motions by Judge Greenhalgh, who clearly did not allow the desperate accusations by the Defense to stand in the way of making a sound and well-founded judgment. We can only hope that this is a sign of overall justice to come for those amazing Great Danes following the completion of the trial, which is now scheduled for October 16th.

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