BRATTLEBORO -- Four dogs were rescued from a home along Vernon Street in Brattleboro in June. One had to be euthanized after it was determined he was "too vicious."
The animal's three former owners have each been charged with multiple counts of animal cruelty.
Cathlyne R. Tirrell, 21, Christina M. Moses, 21, and her father, Wesley Moses, 73, each pleaded not guilty to the four misdemeanor charges of cruelty to animals they were facing on Tuesday.
Each of the three is facing up to four years behind bars and fines up to $4,000 in convicted. Following their arraignments, they were released on conditions, which included that they not possess or care for animals of any kind.
Additional charges for the three people are pending due to the alleged neglect of other animals they owned, police told the Reformer.
Investigation into the three roommates began on June 26, when Brattleboro Police Animal Control Officer Cathy Barrows and Sgt. Mark Carignan met with Tirrell regarding a pit bull puppy she had named "Hydro."
Barrows told the Reformer that the living conditions were "deplorable, not fit for humans let alone animals."
According to the affidavit, Barrows determined the four dogs had all been neglected.
On June 27, Barrows, Carignan and a representative from the Windham County Humane Society went to the residence and found Tirrell loading several animals into someone's van.
Two dogs, a pit
Carignan wrote in the affidavit that because there were so many dogs and different owners, he wanted to interview Tirrell about who lived there and who was responsible for the animals.
Tirrell said that she and the two Moses' had all lived in the house and trailer along Vernon Street. There were four dogs living with them as well, she said.
During her first encounter with Sgt. Carignan and ACO Barrows, Tirrell explained the dog wasn't hers, that she was just "watching it" and "she could not own the dog because she did not have the financial resources to properly care for it," Carignan wrote.
However, during the second interview, Tirrell confessed that the dog was hers and she had lied because she was afraid if she told the truth, the puppy would be taken from her.
Looking around the property, Carignan stated the conditions weren't suitable to take care of any animals.
"(The property) was littered with trash, smelled foul and was very dirty," he wrote. "I saw trash, animal feces, rotten food and other items strewn about."
When he asked Tirrell about where the dogs were staying, she told him that sometimes it was in the house, sometimes the trailers or chained up in the yard.
Carignan stated he looked inside the trailer and house and took photographs but wasn't going to enter either structure because he was fearful of contaminating his clothing and himself.
"It was dark, smelled very foul and filthy. The house on the property was in a similar condition, but not as full of debris and filth."
Tirrell told him it was because they had just taken "Dumpsters full of material out of the house."
Out in the yard were several animal chains attached to fixed objects, dog food tossed onto the ground with no bowls, a container of dirty water and animal feces in various states of decomposition along with trash and clothing.
Wesley Moses met with Carignan later that day and explained that the three of them were having difficulty caring for the dogs and feeding them because they had no money.
All four of the dogs were taken to nearby veterinary clinics and treated for numerous health problems.
None of the dogs had been vaccinated for rabies, one had Lyme disease and all of them had fleas.
"Diablo was too vicious to be evaluated and after several days of trying to sedate or calm him, he had to be euthanized," Carignan wrote.
The condition of the other three animals wasn't available, according to an employee of the veterinary clinic. The three dogs however are now in the custody of the Windham County Humane Society.
Josh Stilts can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org, or 802-254-2311 ext. 273.