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Fay to Learn Sentence Friday, Faces Jail Time for Animal Cruelty

Todd Bookman/NHPR

A Wolfeboro dog breeder found guilty of mistreating her 84 Great Danes will be sentenced in Carroll County Superior Court on Friday.

In a sentencing memorandum filed by prosecutors, the State is requesting the judge sentence Christina Fay, who was found guilty on 17 cruelty counts, to a year in jail, forfeit all of her dogs, and be barred from ever owning an animal for the remainder of her life.

“The dogs in this case were neglected and cruelly treated by the very person they most depended on,” write prosecutors. “The nature of [the] defendant’s crimes, the scale of the defendant’s crimes in light of the sheer number of animals involved, and the pattern of [the] defendant’s widespread neglect are all relevant factors in determining sentencing.”

The story of Fay and her high-end European Great Danes garnered international headlines when police raided her Wolfeboro estate last summer. Photos showed dogs living in squalid conditions inside of a 13,000-square foot home set on more than 50 acres.

During testimony at her trial, Fay said the conditions in the home were the result of a “perfect storm” created by a sudden loss of employees coupled with her own recent knee injury.

Fay was found guilty by a lower court last year. She avoided jail time, but was sentenced to forfeit all but one of her dogs, and pay restitution of approximately $800,000 to cover the cost of care and veterinary bills.

Her appeal in Superior Court resulted in a two-week trial, with jurors taking a field trip to view the Wolfeboro home. Her defense team recently filed a motion asking a judge to reconsider the verdict on the grounds that insufficient evidence was provided during trial, but that was denied.

Along with Fay’s punishment, the judge will also decide the fate of a male dog named Remus. The 145-pound animal recently bit a caregiver, according to the Humane Society of the United States, which has been caring for the seized animals.

The state says the dog is too dangerous to be adopted and needs to be euthanized. Fay is seeking to block that request.

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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