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Claremont pair found guilty of being cruel to 14 cats, ordered to pay $2,217 to Humane Society

By MEGHAN PIERCE
Union Leader Correspondent

March 20. 2018 9:35AM
The surviving 12 cats of Claremont's Abandoned 14 were put up for adoption Monday following the guilty convictions of animal cruelty of their previous owners. (Meghan Pierce/Union Leader Correspondent)



The surviving 12 cats of Claremont's Abandoned 14 were put up for adoption Monday following the guilty convictions of animal cruelty of their previous owners. (MEGHAN PIERCE)

CLAREMONT — A man and woman have been given suspended jail sentences after being found guilty of cruelty to animals in Claremont district court Monday.

The Sullivan County Humane Society, which cared for the cats the man and woman were found guilty of neglecting, says stricter laws are needed to protect animals.

Dwaine Lord, 65, and Crystal Lamonda, 43, both of Tremont Street in Claremont, were each charged with 14 counts of cruelty to animals in November.

Police responded on Nov. 12 to Tremont Street and found 14 cats stuffed inside of a medium-sized pet carrier.

It appeared they had been left outside overnight in the freezing cold. One of the cats was dead inside the carrier; another had to be euthanized.

All of the cats were covered with feces and soaked in blood and urine, shelter officials said. They were suffering from hypothermia, dehydration, diarrhea and respiratory infections. Most were not spayed or neutered and they were all underweight.

On March 6 both the charges against the pair were replaced with one count each of animal cruelty for negligence of 14 cats.

In court Monday, Lord pleaded guilty to the animal cruelty charge. Lamonda pleaded not guilty to her animal cruelty charge, but was found guilty by district court judge John Yazinski.

Each were given suspended 140 day-jail sentences pending good behavior for the next three years. Both are also prohibited from possessing any animal for the next three years and are ordered to jointly pay $2,217.02 in restitution to the Sullivan County Humane Society, which had cared for the cats after police rescued them.

According to the Sullivan County Humane Society on Monday the restitution is a small portion of the overall expenses the society incurred caring for the cats.

“Although we are disappointed with such a lenient sentence, we thank the Claremont Police and the Claremont Prosecutor for their attention to this matter,” the Sullivan County Humane Society said in a statement Monday.

“We know that the laws are weak and we hope that SB569-FN, a bill that will make stricter animal cruelty laws, will pass. We will work with advocates of the bill and use the ‘Abandoned 14’ as an example as to why stricter laws are needed!”

The Humane Society also announced that the surviving 12 from the “Abandoned 14” were made available for adoption Monday.


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