After subjecting 22 German Shepherds to subzero temperatures, an Alexandria, New Hampshire, woman is now being charged with 22 counts of animal abuse.
Jennifer Choates was arrested after authorities received complaints from her neighbor April Nguyen, alleging that Choates was keeping multiple dogs outside in the cold. “I’m furious. I’ve been very concerned,” Ngyen told WMUR. “I’ve been able to count at least 5 different barks, but I had no idea how many animals were in there.”
In total, 22 German Shepherds were being housed by Choates in an unheated barn without access to fresh water.
“The dogs were all in wire pens with no roof over them, so no ability to keep their heat in,” Alexandria Police Chief Donald Sullivan told WMUR.
“You couldn’t even kick the shavings around in the pens. It was just a big frozen mass of stuff on the bottom of each pen.”
Unfortunately, this isn’t the first time Choates has been charged with these types of negligent acts. Prior to this, she had already been scheduled to attend court on January 22nd for two separate incidences that resulted in the death of 26 dogs— most of them, week-old puppies.
Towards the end of November 2017, there were two fires on Choates’ property, which ultimately caused the death of 36 innocent dogs. According to WMUR, Choates had previously been found in violation of a zoning ordinance. She was allowed to keep 6 dogs that were considered her pets but was ordered to move the remaining 23 by December 8th. Unfortunately, she never did, and most of the dogs that were killed in the fires were not supposed to be there in the first place.
Taking all of these incidents into account, Choates has essentially been charged with mistreating nearly 60 dogs! And no doubt, there were others who suffered behind the scenes.
The twenty-two dogs that were rescued from the freezing barn were taken to the New Hampshire SPCA where they were reunited with 9 other dogs that had been seized from the property during the fires. Although they appear to be in good spirits, WMUR reports that they will still need to be evaluated.
As mentioned, Choates is currently scheduled to appear for charges related to the 36 dogs who died as a result of property fires on January 22nd, 2017. The court date for her new charges relating to the mistreatment of the German Shepherds found in the barn is set for February 12th.
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