Reporting Dave Marsett
TINLEY PARK, Ill. (CBS) – A Tinley Park woman has been charged with multiple counts of animal neglect and cruelty after police rescued dozens of animals from the animal sanctuary she runs.
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Cook County Sheriff’s Police said they removed more than 100 animals – many of them malnourished or already dead – from Dazzle Painted Pasture Animal Rescue/Sanctuary on the 5500 block of West 175th Street in Tinley Park late Friday.
Authorities said conditions at the animal shelter had severely deteriorated, leaving animals living in unhealthy conditions. Barns, trailers and sheds were often unheated and left without food or water, police said.
The shelter’s owner, Dawn Hamill, 41, was charged Friday with eight counts of neglect of owner’s duties and two counts of cruel treatment.
Sheriff’s officers found a dead 3 ½-year-old miniature horse in a stall in the barn at the shelter, along with a dead Himalayan cat.
In addition, police found eight puppies exposed to Parvo, housed in an unheated garage without food or water.
Other sanctuary dogs had skin conditions, and one had a problem with its legs; all of the cats had respiratory problems, many had ear and eye infections, police said.
Hamill agreed to euthanize one dog on the property due to age, and another due to aggression issues.
In total, police removed 63 dogs, 31 cats, six rabbits and 30 horses, ponies, sheep, goats and llamas. One cat later died.
Police said that Hamill founded Painted Pasture in 2006 and bought animals from all over, including online.
Investigators learned that, over the years, Hamill became unable to properly care for the large number of animals she had taken in.
Police said Hamill thanked investigators for intervening in a situation that had grown out of control.
Hamill was due for a hearing at the courthouse in Markham on March 11.