All Sections

Home | Courts

Woman accused of cruelty asked police: 'Please don't take my dogs'

Union Leader Correspondent

October 16. 2017 10:02PM
Christina Fay ...Animal cruelty? trial opens 

Annie-Rose Newell who worked one day for Tina Fay before reporting to the authorities the conditions the Wolfeboro woman's Great Dane dogs were allegedly living in, testifies during the opening day of Fay's animal cruelty trial. (Bea Lewis/Correspondent)

OSSIPEE — Wolfeboro police officer Michael Straugh testified Monday that when he arrived at Christina Fay’s home on June 16 to serve an arrest warrant and execute a search warrant, Fay’s first words were: “Please don’t take my dogs.”

Fay, 59, is facing 12 counts of animal cruelty. Her trial started Monday in the 3rd Circuit, District Division Ossipee Court.

Wolfeboro police and fire departments, along with the Humane Society of the United States and Pope Memorial SPCA, seized 75 Great Danes from Fay’s Wolfeboro home after receiving reports of squalid conditions.

Straugh said when Fay came to the door, her shirt and pants were covered in dog waste and that she repeatedly apologized, commenting, “I know this looks bad.”

“The odor was unbearable along with the feeling of what you were stepping on,” said Straugh, the lead investigator in the criminal case.

He said that Fay asked him to call her veterinarian.

Earlier in the day, a lawyer representing Dr. Kate Battenfelder of True North Veterinary Hospital in Bartlett hand-delivered a motion to invalidate a request that she appear in court as a witness in the case of Fay, her former client.

Judge Charles Greenhalgh said he would hear oral arguments on the motion to quash the subpoena on Wednesday prior to testimony.

Battenfelder’s name came up during the testimony of Marilyn Kelly, who worked for Fay five weeks in May and June.

Kelly testified that Fay signed over ownership of seven of her Great Danes, believing that they would be given new homes.

Kelly took the dogs to the Conway Area Humane Society to have them spayed and neutered. When they were examined by the shelter’s veterinarian, Dr. Monique Kramer, Kelly testified that Kramer discovered they had a number of health problems, including a contagious variety of oral warts.

“Dr. Battenfelder had issued the health certificates and when Dr. Kramer examined them, they weren’t as healthy,” Kelly testified.

Under cross-examination by co-defense attorney James Cowles of Wolfeboro, Kelly said she was unaware that Dr. Kramer was the veterinarian for the Humane Society of the United States.

Maggots tumbled out

Annie-Rose Newell, 17, testified that she worked a single day for Fay on May 2 at her 149 Warren Sands Road property.

Newell said she was met by the sight of a “grand white house, two fancy black cars and a lawn, mowed to perfection.”

But Newell then described going into an attached garage with kennels for seven dogs and being overwhelmed by the stench of 30 garbage bags filled with slimy cardboard boxes covered with maggots and other insects. The boxes had once contained raw chicken, she said.

While picking up the bags, Newell testified that co-worker Julia Smith confided she didn’t like handling them as one contained a dead puppy.

Newell said the home’s floors were slick with animal waste and a secondary kitchen where raw meat was prepared as dog food was soaked in rancid juice. When she was directed to clean out a large stainless-steel refrigerator, she said maggots tumbled out onto the floor when she opened the door; she repeatedly gagged as she tried to scrub the congealed juice from the bottom of the refrigerator.

Newell recounted that at lunchtime she retreated to her car while Fay, her son, and two other workers sat at a counter in the main kitchen and ate.

When she helped Smith let some of the dogs outside into the fenced yard, Newell testified that her co-worker told her the dogs only got to drink water when they went out and that they hadn’t been let out the day before. The dogs flocked to a puddle to drink.

The trial is scheduled to resume on Wednesday and conclude on Friday.

Courts Crime Animals Wolfeboro

More Headlines