Washington County District Attorney Eugene A. Vittone filed felony charges against three individuals in connection to a police raid that recovered 92 injured and emaciated dogs from a farm in South Hills. Lucy Ann Binakonsky, Emily David Binakonsky and Charlotte L. Binakonsky face 16 felony counts, including five counts of aggravated cruelty to an animal for the death or serious injury of five dogs.
Law Enforcement Raided a Farm
All of the dogs recovered from the farm were German Shorthaired Pointers. At the time of the raid, there were no people on the property so law enforcement had to conduct an investigation to determine who had placed the dogs on the property. The property consisted of a farmhouse and outbuilding, both of which had open doors giving the dogs free run into the structures. Vittone commented that they home and outbuilding had “basically been turned into dog houses.”
“The conditions at the property were deplorable, filthy and in the opinion of law enforcement, inhumane,” Vittone said Thursday in a statement.
The dogs were found in terrible living conditions. They were filthy, emaciated, injured, and sick. Many of them had started turning on one another, with fights breaking out during the recovery. Local humane and rescue groups all came together to get the dogs to a safe place to begin caring for and loving them.
Five of the dogs were in critical condition. Two of those poor sweet souls didn’t make it. The remaining three require continuous medical attention over a year after the raid. It is the condition of these five dogs that led to the five counts of aggravated cruelty to an animal. It took the District Attorney’s office over a year to comb through the evidence for each dog and put together the charges.
Community Came Together to Help
At the time of the raid, the community came together in force to immediately improve the lives of these animals. Firefighters were on site at the farm rinsing off dogs to make them ready for transport. Local rescue groups stepped up in numbers to provide space in their homes and shelters for the nearly 100 dogs. The local fairgrounds was used as an initial transfer point to make the dogs ready for their foster homes or shelters. Four veterinarians came to the fairgrounds to volunteer their time. It was a real community effort, which was one silver lining to this dark and heinous crime.
Dogs Have Been Adopted into Loving Homes
Over a year has passed since the raid and most of the dogs have found their forever homes thanks to the great work of rescue groups and open hearts of adopters. If the three co-defendants are found guilty, they will get up to 7 years in jail and a fine up to $15,000.
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