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Judge Says Returning Great Danes to Breeder ‘Too Great’ a Risk

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.

The state alleges the dogs were being held in unsanitary conditions, with some of the animals underweight and in poor physical condition. Fay has been charged with 12 counts of animal cruelty.

Last week, Fay told a judge that she closely monitored the health and happiness of her dogs, and that prosecutors are painting an inaccurate picture of both the animals' wellbeing and the condition of the home. She also criticized the Humane Society, which has been caring for the animals, of improperly using the dogs as a fundraising gimmick.

Credit Todd Bookman/NHPR
Christina Fay testifying in Ossipee District Court.

But in a ruling released Tuesday, Ossipee District Court Judge Charles Greenhalgh writes “the risk of returning the dogs to the care and custody of the Defendant, now, is simply too great.”

A trial on the cruelty charges is slated to start next week.

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