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New charges for Selden mom accused in pets' torture

Sharon McDonough leaves family court in Central Islip

Sharon McDonough leaves family court in Central Islip after her hearing in November. (Nov. 23, 2009) Photo Credit: James Carbone

The Selden woman accused of forcing her children to torture dogs and cats has been indicted on four felony counts of cruelty to animals and dozens of misdemeanor counts of child endangerment, court records show.

Sharon McDonough, 43, is scheduled to be arraigned on the new charges Thursday in Suffolk County Court in Riverhead, according to records posted on the New York State Unified Court System's Web site.

The indictment remains under seal until McDonough's arraignment Thursday.

Her attorney, James D'Angelo of Huntington, said Tuesday he was not aware of the indictment and had not seen the new charges. "If she is indicted, she continues to stand by her not-guilty plea," D'Angelo said.

A spokeswoman for the Suffolk County district attorney's office declined to comment.

Online court records show McDonough was indicted Friday on two counts each of felony aggravated cruelty to animals, 30 counts of misdemeanor torturing and injuring animals, and 36 counts of misdemeanor endangering the welfare of a child.

McDonough pleaded not guilty in November to misdemeanor charges that she mistreated dogs and cats at her Awixa Place home.

Authorities in November removed five dogs and a cat from the home amid allegations by her son Doug, 21, that she forced her younger children to torture the animals. The other six children, the youngest about 20 months old, were removed from McDonough's custody in November. Investigators dug up more than 40 animal carcasses from McDonough's backyard.

McDonough was ruled competent to stand trial. She continues to be held in the Suffolk County jail on $100,000 cash bail.

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