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Jurors tour Wolfeboro mansion where police removed 75 Great Danes from squalor

Union Leader Correspondent

March 06. 2018 9:11AM
Christina Fay is framed by the wrought iron baluster of the railing on a curved staircase as she walks through the foyer of her 149 Warren Sands Road, Wolfeboro home she visited on Monday during a view with the jury hearing her animal cruelty trial. (Bea Lewis/Union Leader Correspondent)

Wolfeboro Chief of Police Dean Rondeau gestures as he testifies in the animal cruelty trial of Christina Fay on Monday in Carroll County Superior Court. (Bea Lewis/Union Leader Correspondent)

OSSIPEE — Jurors who will decide whether a Wolfeboro woman’s treatment of 75 Great Danes amounts to animal cruelty toured the home on Monday where the animals had been kept.

Christina Fay, 59, walked the grounds of the 149 Warren Sands Road home with her defense team as jurors viewed the property under the guidance of Judge Amy Ignatius.

While the 13,000-square-foot house is undergoing extensive renovations, evidence of its previous canine occupants is still apparent. Window sills awaiting replacement bore damage from both claws and teeth. Windows in the chewed and scratched doors were opaque with smeared dirt and paw prints. The hardwood floor on the first floor had been removed; boxes of new bamboo flooring were stacked awaiting installation.

The damage stood in sharp contrast to the crystal chandelier, marble countertops and crown mouldings.

Jurors had the chance to look inside several outbuildings that were outfitted with black rubber mats and chain-link kennels.

Fay, who hadn’t returned since the property was raided by authorities on June 16, stooped to pick up a hard rubber Kong dog toy.

After the jury was bused back to the courthouse and the defense called its first witness, Fay continued to clutch the toy in her hands.

Fay was living in Auburn, Mass., when she bought the property on June 4, 2015. Records at the Carroll County Registry of Deeds show that on Feb. 15, a $142,000 judicial lien was placed on the house to satisfy the requirement that Fay post $2,000 per dog to retain an ownership interest.

Fay was convicted of 10 counts of animal cruelty by a district court judge, and then chose to appeal, resulting in the jury trial in Superior Court.

Wolfeboro Police Chief Dean Rondeau testified about the conditions inside the home when his department partnered with the Humane Society of the United States to remove the dogs.

“There was feces everywhere, from floor to ceiling,” said Rondeau. Despite wearing glasses and a respirator he said his eye watered and burned from the ammonia level.

Under questioning by prosecutor Steven Briden, the chief conceded he had a physical reaction to the conditions inside the home.

“I went into dry heaves a number of times; that was actually physically debilitating,” he said. The day after the dogs were seized the property was declared unfit for human habitation and was posted as such, Rondeau told the jury.

“This is the worst I have ever seen in this regard. This was just horrible,” Rondeau said.

Defense attorney Kent Barker tried to place Rondeau’s comments in context, citing the chief’s more than 30-year career as an Army officer.

“Yes, I have three Bronze Stars and a Combat Star. It was worse than Iraq, it was worse that Kosovo,” Rondeau said.

“And this is based on fact, not emotion,” questioned Barker.

“Yes sir,” was Rondeau’s reply.

Testimony is scheduled to resume this morning.

Courts Crime Animals Wolfeboro

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