BLOOMFIELD, CT (WFSB) - A packed Bloomfield meeting nearly spun out of control as supporters and critics of a local breeder, accused of animal cruelty, clashed at a public forum.
Town council members did a good job keeping the peace between the two sides, but people on both sides of the debate were overwhelmed with emotion.
Star Mountain Kennel owner Margaret Boisture was charged on Tuesday.
Boisture was charged with animal cruelty and operating a kennel with a revoked or suspended license.
John Waterman told Bloomfield town leaders that the recent arrest of his mom, Boisture, was unfair.
Police recently seized 15 dogs from her property.
“Her dogs are her life. It would be like stripping you from your job right here and just ripping it away from you, taking it away, destroying your reputation all over the dog community,” Waterman said.
Boisture has supporters around the country, some of them traveled from as far away as North Carolina to listen to the meeting and hold signs proclaiming Boisture’s innocence.
Bloomfield Police Chief Paul Hammick is adamant that the facts support the charges.
“This is in response to neighbor complaints in the area. When we began to investigate, we didn’t know what we were going to find there. We found things that as I said in the meeting, were disturbing to us,” Chief Hammick said.
Police say Boisture did not have a permit to run a kennel and most of the dogs didn’t have up to date rabies vaccines. Once inside, they discovered soiled bedding that was soaked in what appeared and smelled to be fresh urine, and most of the bedding was caked in fresh feces, according to the arrest warrant.
Boisture’s mom, Mary Walters, also spoke at the meeting. She says her daughter never abused any animals.
“She had very high standards as well as her friends, they hold one another accountable. I don’t think any kennel could be run as such high standards,” Walter said.
The people who live closest to the property disagree. Jay Eberle owns the home next door and he says the bottom line is Boisture’s actions and inaction speak louder than the word of her supporters.
“Why, if you have the utmost care for your animals, why was that area not secure. Why was she operating a kennel without a license,” Eberle said.
Boisture did not attend the meeting, but she has denied the accusations and even filed a lawsuit against the town.
Police say the do have body camera footage from inside the kennel that will be released at some point.