Head of animal rescue group convicted of abuse - WFSB 3 Connecticut

Head of animal rescue group convicted of abuse

Fred Acker in 2012, when he spoke to Eyewitness News about his animal cruelty case. Fred Acker in 2012, when he spoke to Eyewitness News about his animal cruelty case.
LITCHFIELD, CT (WFSB) -

The head of an animal rescue group accused of abusing dogs by housing them in the cold has been convicted of the crime.

Frederick Acker, 61, learned the judge's decision Monday in Litchfield Superior Court.

Acker faced 63 misdemeanor counts of animal cruelty, but was convicted of 15 after the judge found that 15 dogs at his unfinished barn in Bethlehem were in danger from the cold.

In total, 63 dogs were seized from the barn in November 2012 and transferred to a warm environment, according neighboring Woodbury's animal control officer.

In 2012, Acker told Eyewitness News that the barn was not that cold and that the town's animal control officer, Judy Umstead, had a vendetta against him.

He claimed Umstead had a conflict of interest because she worked not only for a kennel, but another animal rescue group.

"This is a case of an animal control officer not investigating animal cruelty but choosing to harass other animal rescuers," Acker said in December 2012.

Acker said he will appeal the conviction.

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