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.
In June, Wolfeboro Police seized the animals from the home of Christina Fay, eventually charging her with 12 counts of animal cruelty. Police allege the dogs were living in filthy conditions, with limited ventilation, and that some of the animals were underfed and lacking necessary medical care.
For the past three and a half months, the animals, which are considered evidence in the ongoing criminal case, have been under the care of the Humane Society.
During a hearing on Tuesday in Ossipee District Court, attorneys for Fay worked to paint a different picture of Fay. They described her dog breeding business as a labor of love.
“It was a lot of work. I miss it more than I can tell you,” said Fay.
Fay testified that she has training as a veterinarian technician and worked for the Bronx Zoo earlier in her career, and says she maintained a strict feeding, watering and exercise regimen for the dogs. Her lawyers argued that photos of her Wolfeboro mansion, which were released to the media by Wolfeboro Police, were intentionally framed to make the home’s condition look worse than it actually was.
“It was a large number, and not one went without excellent care, water, food, and being loved every day,” Fay told the courtroom.
Fay also accused the Humane Society of using the animals as fundraising ploys, including bringing puppies to a public event attended by Governor Chris Sununu.
Prosecutors countered that under state statute, authorities have the legal right to maintain possession of the animals in cruelty cases. They also questioned how Fay could successfully care for 75 animals during weekends, when Fay says she doesn’t have staff on hand to assist her.
The presiding judge didn’t immediately rule on the request. A trial on the cruelty charges is slated to begin later this month.