The state is seeking to take custody of about 70 animals that were taken from an overcrowded Hebron animal rescue where they were allegedly being neglected.
Connecticut Attorney General William Tong announced Monday that his office is seeking state custody of 33 dogs, 28 cats, five ducks, three goats and pony that were confiscated from CT Pregnant Dog and Cat Rescue on March 25.
Joann Connelly, 59, of 171 Porter Road, faces multiple animal cruelty charges after the home where she operated the rescue was found to be in an allegedly “deplorable and unsanitary” condition, according to state police. At least 35 dogs, 19 cars, two parakeets, a pony, two goats and geese were found living inside the house, where the floors were allegedly covered in feces, urine, insulation and sheetrock, according to the warrant for Connelly’s arrest and the attorney general’s office.
Investigators found 12 dogs in cages in one room, 17 in cages in another room and a mother dog and her five puppies in the basement, documents show. Also in the basement they found 14 caged cats; five more cats were found upstairs in a bedroom and bathroom, according to an arrest warrant.
The animals were seized and taken to a veterinarian for treatment. According to state police, animal control officers were to track the animals to make sure they went to caring homes. Now, Tong is asking for permanent custody of the animals.
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“No animal should ever suffer like this,” Tong said in a statement. “The dogs, cats, ducks, goat, parakeet and pony seized from this farm were kept in deplorable and inhumane conditions. We are seeking permanent state custody of these animals to ensure they receive the proper care and attention they need and deserve.”
The petition also requires Connelly to identify any other animals that are being fostered by members of the public through CT Pregnant Dog and Cat Rescue.
Agriculture Commissioner Bryan P. Hurlburt commended the teamwork of state agencies that led to the massive rescue.
“The collaborative efforts between state agencies, the town, and all of the Animal Control Officers led to a successful investigation and seizure to place the animals in more suitable homes and provide access to critical veterinary care,” said Hurlburt.
Hulburt said that anyone who suspects animal abuse can contact the Animal Control department at 860-713-2506 or AGR.AnimalControl@ct.gov.
Connelly was released from custody last month but was ordered by a judge not to return to the site of her former rescue or to take in any animals.
She is scheduled to appear in court next on Wednesday in Rockville Superior Court.