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Jurors Tour N.H. Estate Where Police Removed 75 Great Danes

Todd Bookman/NHPR

The case of Christina Fay made international headlines last summer, in part, because of where the high-end dog breeder lived with her European Great Danes: a 13,000 square foot home set on 53 secluded acres with a gated entrance and view of Lake Winnipesaukee.

In short, it's not the typical setting for an animal cruelty case.

On Monday, twelve jurors and two alternates spent an hour getting a tour of the house and property. It was a brief field trip as the trial, where Fay faces 18 counts of animal cruelty, begins its second week.

[You can read previous coverage of this story here.]

“Okay, where do we head next?” asked Carroll County Superior Court Judge Amy Ignatius, who led jurors, as well as lawyers for the prosecution and defense, through the home.

Prosecutors in both the lower court trial, which ended in a guilty verdict for Fay, as well as the ongoing appeal, have introduced photos of the home taken on the day of a police raid last June. They argue the images show dogs living in squalid conditions, with animal waste coating the floors.

Credit Pool Photo (Bea Lewis/Union Leader)
Fay and her attorneys outside of her home.

The condition of the home today is radically different. Most of the hardwood floors have been removed, with contractor equipment set up throughout the house.

A few pieces of furniture and art remain, but for the most part, the rooms are vacant. The only clear evidence that dogs lived in the home are a few scratches on the front door.

Fay was present during the tour. She said it was the first time she had returned to the home since last summer, when she was arrested and the dogs were seized.

Jurors were mostly silent as they ambled through the house, taking in the high ceilings, eight bedrooms and rolling backyard meadow wrapped in fencing. There was a quick lap around the back of the house, and then everyone climbed into a yellow school bus to head back to the courtroom in Ossipee.

The trial is expected to wrap up by the end this week.

Todd started as a news correspondent with NHPR in 2009. He spent nearly a decade in the non-profit world, working with international development agencies and anti-poverty groups. He holds a master’s degree in public administration from Columbia University.

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