BLOOMFIELD, CT (WFSB) – A kennel owner is facing animal cruelty charges after a number of dogs were found at a facility in Bloomfield living in their own filth.
Police said Margaret Boisture of the Star Mountain Kennel left her dogs outside in the freezing cold. Her lawyer, however, said her kennels have better conditions than many human homes.
On Jan. 22, Bloomfield Animal Control Officer Christine Sparks said she received a complaint that dogs were left outside overnight at a property on Tunxis Avenue Extension.
It was the third such complaint associated with the kennel, with other complaints that stated dogs were barking and there was excessive noise.
Investigators determined that the property was owned by James and Margaret Boisture. Beech Tree Ranch LLC is the owner of Star Mountain Kennel, a breeder of Portuguese Podengo Pequeno dogs.
It was also determined that there was no valid kennel license issued to the facility or property owners.
When Sparks arrived at the property, Margaret Boisture told the officers they were not allowed to inspect the property. A search and seizure warrant was applied for and granted.
During the execution of the search warrant, more than 40 animals were discovered at the facility. Fifteen of the dogs were being held in conditions that were determined to be in violations of laws governing cruelty to animals, excessive confinement, a kennel operation and a rabies vaccination/certificate requirement.
According to the warrant, police observed dogs urinating in their cages, which then trickled down into the cages of the dogs below them. Many of the dogs were found to be standing in their own feces.
The warrant also said during a search of the property, police found "the noise inside this room was deafening, and there was a strong odor of urine and feces."
The 15 dogs were seized and brought to a veterinary facility to be evaluated. All of them had dirty coats with urine and feces, overgrown nails and ear abrasions.
The warrant said 11 had dental decay that required surgery or extraction, eight had respiratory infections, one had a golf-ball-sized mass on a mammary gland and one had periodontal disease and a heart murmur.
Another 23 animals were determined to be in good health and left on the property within the care of Margaret Boisture with a shelter-in-place arrangement. This allows the officers to do daily inspections of the animals.
Six dogs were also placed with their owner’s co-owner after verification.
Due to the conditions of the dogs, Margaret Boisture was charged with cruelty to animals, illegal confinement, operating a kennel after a license revoked/suspended, and no dog rabies vaccinations.
Just a couple of years ago, Margaret Boisture showed off dogs in the Westminster show.
Boisture's attorney released a statement.
Margaret Boisture is an exceptional dog breeder who cares diligently for the health and well-being of her dogs. She enjoys a well-earned and stellar reputation among her peers and customers. Many of her dogs are champions and grand champions. The dogs are raised in a modern 2,000 square foot building with certain amenities that many people do not even enjoy, such as in-floor heating, that reflect her high standards. In a recent inspection by the American Kennel Club, she received the highest marks with no negative comments. The same veterinarians have cared for her dogs for years and attest to their good health and the outstanding level of care that Ms. Boisture provides. The notion that she would neglect the health or safety of her dogs is absurd. Anyone who thinks otherwise is making uninformed assumptions without knowing the facts.
She was released on $75,000 bond.
The AKC, which sanctions the Westminster show, says they are not taking a stance on this matter, nor are they encouraging anyone to attend any meetings regarding Boisture. They are monitoring the progress of the case and say Boisture is unable to use their services pending the outcome.
Police said they have investigated Boisture before.
According to the search warrant, Boisture owned and maintained a flock of goats at the same location in 2013. The warrant stated that the goats did not have required health inspections and were unvaccinated, which led to the death of 10 of the goats.
Boisture was issued violations from the Department of Agriculture.
Supporters of Boisture are expected to attend a regularly scheduled town meeting taking place on Thursday to speak on her behalf.