OSSIPEE — A fourth Great Dane being held in the custody of the Humane Society of the United States during the animal cruelty court case of Christina Fay has died, according to Fay's attorneys.
The case began last June, when police and members of the Humane Society of the United States seized the dogs from locations in Wolfeboro and Bartlett. The Conway Area Humane Society received another nine prior to the seizure.
Fay, 59, of Wolfeboro faces a dozen charges alleging she kept dogs in squalid conditions and denied them adequate food, water and care.
The trial, overseen by Judge Charles Greenhalgh, began Oct. 16 and ran five days through Oct. 24.
Fay is being represented by Kent Barker of Winer and Bennett LLP of Nashua and James P. Cowles of Walker & Varney PC of Wolfeboro.
On Friday, her legal team out out a press release saying a dog which is identified by the state as D1 has died in the custody of the HSUS.
"The cause of the death was not provided by the State. The State mistakenly believed him to be three years old; however, D1 was only 15 months old when he died under HSUS’ care," said the defense team. "Counsel received notification from the State on Nov. 9, 2017 that he died on Nov. 8, 2017.
"Last month, the Court denied Mrs. Fay’s request to remove her dogs from HSUS’ care and allow her to rehome them. The sixth day of trial is scheduled for Nov. 14, 2017."
According to Cowles, the HSUS now has 71 of Fay's dogs. Another nine dogs were taken in by the Conway Area Humane Society.
Lindsay Hamrick of the HSUS reacted to the press release on Friday. She said the dog's name was Dudley and he passed away in his sleep and showed no sign of discomfort.
"He along with all the dogs received regularly veterinary care as well as full veterinary exams," said Hamrick, who confirmed a full necropsy (autopsy) will be ordered.
She said given the conditions that the dogs came from, it's a testament to the care they have been given that 80 have survived.
Last month, Cowles and Barker said they have learned the cause of death of a dog named Lira, who died in September, was acute mesenteric volvulus.
Barker asked defense witness Dr. Samantha Moffitt, a veterinarian practicing with Central Animal Referral & Emergency Hospital in Fredericksburg, Va. She said acute mesenteric volvulus is twisting of the netting of the small intestines, something that can be caused by unregulated food intake.
The HSUS put out a statement about Lira, who was known to them as Bonnie. According to them, Bonnie showed no sign of illness. The HSUS said the two puppies were suffering from "an untreatable condition" and therefore euthanized.
"To capitalize on the humane euthanasia of two puppies that were euthanized by a veterinarian to relieve their suffering from an untreatable medical condition is unconscionable," said Hamrick
The state has rested, and now the defense will be calling witnesses. Day six is scheduled for next Tuesday, Nov. 14, in Ossipee circuit court, starting at 9:30 a.m.