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Claremont Residents Face Animal Cruelty Charges After 14 Cats Found in Pet Carrier

  • Sullivan County Humane Society officials say this is the crate where 14 adults cats were trapped for more than 24 hours in cold weather on Tremont Street in Claremont, N.H., on Nov. 12, 2017. This picture was taken after the cats were removed. Claremont Police discovered the crate and brought it to the humane society. Two of the cats are dead, and two Tremont Street residents, Dwaine Lord, 64, and Crystal Lamonda, 42, are facing 14 counts of animal cruelty. (Photo courtesy - Sullivan County Humane Society)



Valley News Staff Writer
Wednesday, November 22, 2017

Claremont — Claremont police have cited two city residents into court on more than a dozen counts of animal cruelty after officers found 14 cats crammed in a medium-sized dog crate outside a home on Tremont Street.

Sullivan County Humane Society Director Cheryl Bromley said the cats’ condition was one of the worst sights she has ever seen.

“When I walked in, I could hear their screams and the smell was just unreal,” Bromley told the Valley News on Wednesday, recalling the scene on Nov. 12, when the cats were taken in for care.

“I looked into the crate and I just started crying. It was full of blood, feces and urine,” she said. “It was heartbreaking.”

One of the cats died at an unknown time when all of the felines, who ranged in age from 2 to 4 years old, were inside the crate.

Officials estimate the crate was left outside in the elements for at least 24 hours, Bromley said in the interview.

A second cat also has died since being discovered.

Following an investigation, police have cited Tremont Street residents Dwaine Lord, 64, and Crystal Lamonda, 42, each with 14 counts of cruelty to animals, according to a news release issued by Claremont Police Chief Mark Chase on Tuesday.

Lord and Lamonda have been cited into Claremont District Court. They will be arraigned on Jan. 8.

Attempts to reach them for comment on Wednesday were unsuccessful.

The Claremont Police Department received a report of animal neglect around 5:45 p.m. on Nov. 12, and officers responded to Lord and Lamonda’s residence on Tremont Street.

“The cats were outside and the health and welfare of (them) was very concerning for the officers,” Chase said in the release. “The cats were transported to the Sullivan County Humane Society to be fed and cared for.”

The remaining 12 cats are in a foster home and are expected to make full recoveries, Bromley said. Some of them still have long roads ahead of them.

All had upper respiratory infections, which are being treated with antibiotics. Some were underweight and needed dental work, plus spays or neuters.

It was unclear precisely how long the 14 cats were crammed inside the crate, Bromley said. Based on their condition and the condition inside the carrier, she said she believes it was for longer than 24 hours.

A crate of that size would be acceptable for up to two adult cats at one time, Bromley said.

Volunteers have taken several photos of the crate, its condition and the cats, and most of the photos are being withheld. They are “alarming” and “very disturbing,” Bromley said.

The humane society has taken a financial hit because of this case. Donations can be made on the society’s website at www.sullivancountyhumanesociety.org.

Anyone with information about the case is asked to call Claremont police at 603-542-9538.

Jordan Cuddemi can be reached at jcuddemi@vnews.com or 603-727-3248.