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Claremont Residents Plead Guilty to Animal Cruelty Charges

  • One of the 12 recovering cats in Claremont, N.H. (Photo courtesy – Sullivan County Humane Society)

Valley News Correspondent
Published: 3/20/2018 12:04:31 AM
Modified: 3/20/2018 5:42:48 PM

Claremont — Two Claremont residents charged with animal cruelty pleaded guilty on Monday in Claremont District Court.

Both received 140-day suspended sentences at the Sullivan County House of Corrections.

Crystal Lamonda and Dwaine Lord will have to share the responsibility of paying $2,217 in restitution to the Sullivan County Humane Society as part of the plea agreement, and also are prohibited from owning or having any animal in their control for the next three years.

Fourteen cats were found on a cold night in early November stuffed inside a crate outside a home on Tremont Street.

According to reports, they were covered in blood, urine and feces in the crate, which was barely big enough to hold two adult cats, and were suffering from several health issues including respiratory and dental problems. The cats were brought to the humane society, where they received treatment.

Twelve cats survived and have almost completely recovered, Sullivan County Humane Society Director Cheryl Bromley said prior to the hearing.

Three of the cats have been adopted and the other nine are at the humane society’s shelter on Tremont Street, she said.

One of the cats was dead inside the crate and a second died shortly after the felines were discovered. The cats range in age from 2 to 4 years and it is believed they had been left outside for at least 24 hours.

Bromley said on Monday that one cat is still receiving treatment for problems with its ear. Lamonda and Lord were each charged with 14 counts of animal cruelty. They faced a maximum of up to one year in prison for each misdemeanor count.

According to state statute, cruelty can be defined as acts or omissions that are injurious to the health, safety or welfare of an animal. These can include abandonment without proper care, sustenance, or shelter. A second offense can result in a felony charge, which is punishable by between one and seven years in prison.

In court, the prosecution said the charges were combined into one complaint for each defendant, which encompassed each case entirely.

Lamonda was represented by Jay Buckey and Lord’s court-appointed attorney was Bruce Jasper. Both pleaded guilty under questioning from Judge Jack Yazinski and the cases were resolved in less than 10 minutes.

Bromley said the humane society’s veterinary bills for the cats’ treatment exceeded $7,000, but it has received some donations to help defray the costs. The restitution ordered by Yazinski is for care provided by Springfield (Vt.) Animal Hospital.

After the hearing, Bromley said the absence of jail time did not surprise her.

“We really didn’t expect much more than that,” she said, adding that she has testified in Concord this legislative session in support of a bill that would stiffen animal cruelty laws.

Bromley also said there were three dogs at the home of Lamonda and Lord when the cats were taken.

Lamonda said outside the courtroom that the dogs were surrendered to the Enfield Humane Society the day after the cats were taken away to the shelter.

Patrick O’Grady can be reached at pogclmt@gmail.com.




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