It look just a few hours for a jury to find Christina Fay guilty on all 17 counts, a fast ending to one of the highest profile animal abuse cases in recent history.
During a two-week trial in Carroll County Superior Court, jurors heard testimony from law enforcement and veterinarians who described the squalid conditions inside Fay’s 13,000 square foot Wolfeboro estate last June, when police seized 75 Great Danes. Some of the dogs were in need of immediate medical care, suffering from both skin and gastrointestinal issues.
“We believe the jury reached the correct verdict,” said Assistant Carroll County Attorney Steven Briden, who prosecuted the case. “Our office will continue to do our utmost to make sure that the animals who are the victims in this case receive justice.”
Fay was also found guilty in a lower court, where she faced 10 counts of animal cruelty. Judge Charles Greenhalgh sentenced Fay to a suspended jail sentence, an estimated $800,000 in fines, and the forfeiture of all but one of her dogs. A sentencing hearing in this appeal has not yet been scheduled.
“While we are pleased that justice has been served, the suffering these animals endured at Fay’s hands could have been alleviated much sooner or avoided altogether if New Hampshire had stronger commercial breeding laws,” said Lindaay Hamrick, state director for the Humane Society of the United States, which has been caring for the Great Danes since their seizure.
The HSUS and other animal advocacy groups are backing a bill that would tighten the definition of what constitutes a commercial kennel in New Hampshire. Under the current rules, Fay did not qualify, meaning her property was not subject to inspections by state officials.