Conviction Upheld for Inhuamane Confinement & Chaining of Dogs

ARL provided essential testimony in support of “overwhelming evidence” that dogs were kept in filthy and dirty conditions

A Cape Cod woman’s convictions for violating Massachusetts State law by confining her two dogs in a condemned home and a fenced-in yard, has been upheld by the Massachusetts Appeals Court.

Leanne Trefry, of Brewster, MA, challenged her convictions and claimed that she did not violate the law because her dogs were not confined outside. The Court disagreed, finding that keeping dogs in filthy and dirty confinement both inside and outside was, in fact, a violation of law.

Trefry's Shetland sheepdogs, Kenji and Zach, peer through a fence on her property in Brewster on July 2013, just a few days before they were removed. Photo credit: Cape Cod Times

Trefry’s Shetland sheepdogs, Kenji and Zach, peer through a fence on her property in Brewster on July 2013, just a few days before they were removed. Photo credit: Cape Cod Times

Read the story, as reported by Cape Cod Times.

The Court found also that the dogs were effectively left alone on the property which was clogged with trash, inside and outside; emitted odors of trash (inside); dog feces (outside); and that there were many items which posed a threat to the dogs’ health and safety.

ARL’s Director of Law Enforcement, Lt. Alan Borgal, was one of the witnesses to the deplorable conditions in which the dogs were kept. He became aware of the situation when Brewster Animal Control Officer (ACO) Lynda Brogdan-Burns told him about the dogs and requested investigative assistance from the ARL.

Lt. Borgal went to see Trefry with the Brewster ACO and she agreed to allow the dogs to be taken to the ARL’s Brewster shelter for veterinary care and grooming because of the tick infestation.

At the time of the rescue, the dogs had effectively been left alone virtually all day every day for over a year with only intermittent contact with friends, a caretaker, and Trefry who provided food and water. One dog had Lyme disease and was limping badly from an injury. Both dogs were both tick-infested and described as “matted”, “ravaged” and “traumatized.”

During the trial, Lt. Borgal told the court that he had visited the home and found that the yard was overgrown, dog feces had not been picked up and removed and that, consequently, the yard itself smelled.

Both dogs were transferred to ARL’s Brewster shelter and were later boarded and fostered by Brewster Animal Control. After the conclusion of the case, the dogs were adopted.

Why is this case important? This is one of the first cases interpreting the Massachusetts law which prohibits cruel and dangerous conditions and inhumane tethering or chaining.