Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Sharon McDonough: Concentration Camp - New York

Jan 19, 2010: Mom in NY pet torture case hit with new charges

A New York woman accused of forcing her children to torture household pets and burying dozens of animals in her backyard has been indicted on charges of child endangerment, animal cruelty and animal torture, according to court records released Tuesday.

Sharon McDonough, 43, is scheduled to be arraigned on the upgraded charges Thursday in Suffolk County Court in Riverhead, on Long Island. Her attorney said she will plead not guilty.

A court Web site lists 12 new charges against the mother of seven. Six of the counts are for endangering the welfare of a child, all misdemeanors; she also faces two counts of felony aggravated cruelty to animals and four misdemeanor counts of torturing or injuring animals..." More

Dec 18, 2009: Sharon McDonough Held On $100,000 Bail For Suspected Pet Torture

A judge ordered a New York woman held on $100,000 bail Friday after prosecutors cited evidence that some of the 42 dead animals buried in her yard had been tortured, with duct tape around their mouths or signs that they had drowned.

Sharon McDonough, 43, had been free without bail after her November arrest on misdemeanor charges, but she was taken away in handcuffs after her appearance Friday in Suffolk County Court in Central Islip.

McDonough faces "the likelihood of a felony indictment," said John Cortes, assistant district attorney. Authorities initially found 20 dogs buried behind her Selden home in early November; a subsequent search Dec. 8 uncovered another 22 dead animals.

Necropsies found evidence the animals had been abused, Cortes said.

"There are indications this defendant did kill these animals," District Judge Paul Hensley said in setting bail. "I believe the impulse to flee will become irresistible."..." More

Nov 9, 2009: LI Mom Accused of 'Concentration Camp' For Dogs

Police Make Horrific Discovery in Selden Woman's Backyard After Tip to Rescue Group; Bags Taken Out 'By The Dozen'

On Long Island, a Suffolk County mother is facing charges for alleged cruelty to animals, and they could be upgraded to felony charges.

In an eerie scene Saturday night, investigators found a backyard burial ground, with the remains of at least 20 animals, behind the woman's house. The remains were brought out in black plastic bags.

Authorities first found several dogs that were alive, despite being crammed into small cages and found without food or water.

"Some of them in deplorable condition, skin and bones," Chief Roy Gross, of the Suffolk County SPCA, said.

In addition to the dogs, one cat, along with a hamster and a parakeet, were rescued. They were found in the home of 43-year-old
Sharon McDonough of Selden, who faces misdemeanor animal cruelty charges.

That kicked off an investigation that eventually led to the backyard. What authorities found behind the home may lead to felony charges.

"Going into this was like a house of horrors," Gross said. "This is one of the worst cases of animal abuse I have seen in the last 25 years I have been doing this."

Based on a tip, the back yard of McDonough's home was dug up. It's looked like a gravesite and smelled like death, according to neighbors. Officials discovered 20 animal carcasses buried behind the home, which were carried away in trash bags, dogs suspected of being tortured and killed.

"It looked like a real murder scene, as if they were gonna pull out dead bodies out there," neighbor Andrea Martinez said. "The smell was unbearable. They were taking bags out by the dozen. It was crazy."

The person who allegedly blew the whistle on McDonough was her eldest son, Douglas.

"It was a concentration camp for the animals," Douglas McDonough said. "And my sisters and me, we got the end of it, too."

The son says he was forced to torture the animals.

Now, investigators are looking into complaints about animals disappearing from the neighborhood, and allegations that McDonough tortured, killed, and buried them behind her house.

"Numerous people have called and said pets are missing – a couple dozen calls like that," Gross.

One family says their dog and two cats have been missing, and they fear that the pets may be part of the terrible discovery.

"I'm really concerned about that – that everyone lose animals and they're just buried in the backyard," said neighbor Nicholas Dinubila.

With a car in front of the house, that's now been pelted with eggs, and police tape still up, neighbors express concern.

"We had no idea, didn't hear a thing, and I've lived right next door," one neighbor said. "That's what scares me."

Once autopsies on the dead animals are completed, if aggravated animal abuse can be determined, McDonough could face felony charg
es..." More