Police: Hebron Woman Accused of Cruelty Had Dozens of Animals in Her Home | Crime and courts
A Hebron woman charged with animal cruelty had about 30 dogs, 20 cats and a few birds at the Hebron residence, which had “an overpowering smell of urine and feces”, according to a police affidavit in Hebron. ‘State.
State police described the condition of the home as “deplorable and unsanitary.”
The woman, Joann Connelly, 59, of Porter Road, was charged on Friday with three counts of animal cruelty, to the cats, dogs and birds in the home.
She was being held on $10,000 bail and was scheduled to appear in Vernon Superior Court today.
The animals were seized, transported and are receiving care. They all have pre-determined adoptive homes, and the National Office of Animal Control will track the animals to make sure they go to good homes, police said.
Connelly is the owner of CT Pregnant Dog and Cat Rescue, a licensed animal importer. On the group’s Facebook page, a post on Saturday said the nonprofit group had closed.
“Due to an unforeseen incident, CT Pregant Dog and Cat Rescue will no longer be active. I am so sorry to everyone who has tried to help in any way possible. If you have any questions or concerns, please contact the TB Department of Agriculture,” reads the message signed “Thank you — Erin.”
In a later unsigned comment, the rescue apologized for what happened.
“I’m so sorry everyone. Joann just became overwhelmed with the number of animals she was trying to help,” the post read.
According to state police, the house wasn’t always in such poor condition.
The affidavit in support of Connelly’s arrest provides the following details:
State Police and the State Animal Control Officer inspected Connelly’s home in February 2020. At that time, they found the home to be filthy, but not to the point of violating the health department regulations.
The floors were dirty but not soiled with excrement or urine, and there were five dogs in crates, for which Connelly had the proper papers.
In February 2021, state animal control was asked to monitor a dog. Connelly never made the dog visible, but submitted documents showing he had been seen by a vet and was doing better.
Last September, authorities began receiving complaints that Connelly had an excessive number of dogs in his residence, but they were unable to gain access to the home until March, when authorities learned that Connelly had left. home and left the animals behind.
Members of State Police and Animal Control visited the home on Wednesday, March 23. Upon entering, the smell of urine and feces was overwhelming. An officer standing 15 feet away could smell it when the front door was opened.
Inside, investigators found numerous dogs in cages in different rooms. The floors were covered in urine, feces, newspapers, dog food and dirt.
The floors of rooms housing cats were also covered with urine, feces, litter and fur.
Two parakeets were in another cage in a room. This room was covered in bird waste and filth.
The smell was so bad on the second floor of the house that one officer had difficulty breathing while wearing an N95 respirator.
Investigators also found a pony, two goats and three geese outside the home. Where the three large animals were housed, the feces and hay had accumulated so much that they blocked about half of the door.
State police believed Connelly had other animals expected to arrive in the coming days.