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New Charges Against Animal Shelter Owner Revealed

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Dazzle Painted Pasture Animal Rescue/Sanctuary

More than 100 animals were removed from Dazzle Painted Pasture Animal Rescue/Sanctuary due to unhealthy conditions. (Credit: Cook County Sheriff’s Department)

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TINLEY PARK, Ill. (STMW) – The owner of Dazzles Painted Pastures animal shelter near Tinley Park was arrested and charged with practicing veterinary medicine without a license, providing rabies inoculations without a license and forging rabies certificates, the Cook County Sheriff’s department said Thursday.

Dawn Hamill, 41, who was arrested and released Wednesday, faces seven misdemeanor violations of the animal welfare and animal control act. The new misdemeanor charges are in addition to the 10 misdemeanors she was charged with Feb. 11.

After her arrest Wednesday, Hamill said she vowed to fight the new charges “tooth and nail.”

“I am a law-abiding tax-paying citizen who is doing a good job,” she said. “I take in animals nobody wants.”

Less than a month ago, Hamill appeared in court on the first set of charges, which included two counts of animal cruelty. At that time, she was granted a request for two months of discovery, moving her next court appearance for those charges to May 24.

Hamill’s legal troubles began in February after authorities received a tip that conditions at her nonprofit animal sanctuary had deteriorated.

An investigation by the animal crimes unit revealed Hamill had been neglecting and mistreating animals for years. At that time, Hamill was charged with eight counts of neglect of owner duties and two counts of cruel treatment, all misdemeanors.

That investigation led to more than 100 animals being led off of her property and to the care of local animal shelters.

In a statement Thursday, the sheriff’s department said, “Our two-person unit has received calls from people who have made complaints about the condition of animals they had previously purchased from Hamill.”

Those complaints led to Wednesday’s arrest and a new set of charges.

A court date has not yet been set for those new charges.

(Source: Sun-Times Media Wire © Chicago Sun-Times 2010. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)

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