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Judge Approves Request To 'Foster' More than 50 Labrador Retrievers

Todd Bookman/NHPR

A Keene judge has granted the Monadnock Humane Society’s request to send more than 50 Labrador retrievers to foster homes.

The dogs were seized last month from the home of John Riggieri of Marlborough, who faces 10 counts of animal cruelty.

The animal shelter filed a motion requesting permission to foster out the dogs, citing escalating costs. The Humane Society says it costs roughly $5,000 per week to house the dogs, but by sending them to foster homes, the bill drops to $800 a week.

In her ruling, Judge Erin McIntyre ordered the dogs to be placed at foster homes in New Hampshire, and that the temporary caretakers be made aware that the dogs are evidence in a criminal proceeding.

Riggieri has pleaded not guilty to the abuse charges, and opposed sending the dogs to foster homes.

If found guilty, he could be ordered to pay restitution for the cost of caring for the dogs while they are held as evidence, a bill that to date totals more than $40,000. If Riggieri is unable to pay, or is found not guilty, the financial burden is placed on the state.

A trial is scheduled in Keene District Court for Sept. 14. Riggieri has filed a motion requesting the case be moved to federal court.

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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