Officials: Dogs seized in dogfighting case euthanized

Monica Christopher, 38, of New Cassel, has been

Monica Christopher, 38, of New Cassel, has been arrested and charged with prohibition animal fighting -- a felony and two misdemeanors, police said. (Jan. 27, 2013) (Credit: NCPD)

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Three of the 18 dogs seized from a dogfighting operation in New Cassel have been euthanized after their injuries were deemed too severe for them to survive, North Hempstead officials said Monday.

The dogs -- all pit bulls -- were taken to the North Hempstead Animal Shelter after Nassau police said they discovered the dogfighting operation at the home of Monica Christopher while following up on a noise complaint Friday night.

Christopher, 38, was arrested and charged with three counts of prohibition animal fighting -- a felony and two misdemeanors. At her arraignment Sunday in First District Court in Hempstead, Christopher was ordered held on $150,000 bond or $75,000 cash bail. She is due back in court Wednesday.

Christopher was unable to be reached Monday, and a call to Nassau County Legal Aid, which is representing her, was not returned.

Susan Hassett, director of the North Hempstead Animal Shelter, said five of the dogs seized were taken to an animal hospital due to the severity of their injuries, which included cuts and broken bones. Three of them had to be euthanized, she said.

"They were so severe that we couldn't save them," Hassett said. Two of the dogs remain hospitalized.

The other dogs ranged in age from 5 months to several years old, and all were undernourished, Hassett said. The older dogs had scars and injuries consistent with fighting, but the puppies did not appear to have fought yet, she said.

She said all the dogs were friendly and happy to be around people.

"The dogs that were so severely injured were still wagging their tails," she said. "They still trust us, even though people do that. They still trust us."

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