HOPKINTON (CBS) – The owner of a popular Hopkinton kennel is facing a felony animal cruelty charge over the conditions the dogs were allegedly kept in.
Police said a felony charge has been filed against Louise Coleman, director of Greyhound Friends.
“It was sort of a stunning development. So we’re just coping the best we can and complying the best we can,” said Coleman.
A cease and desist order has been issued against the facility, and the kennel license has been suspended by the Town of Hopkinton.
“Animal neglect or cruelty will not be tolerated in Hopkinton. Every allegation will be thoroughly investigated and any person believed to have committed abuse or neglect will be prosecuted,” Board of Selectmen chairman Brian Herr said in a statement.
Herr later told WBZ-TV, “We have to get to the bottom of it and we will.”
Alan Borgal of Animal Rescue League Boston said the charge was brought forth after several inspections revealed “continuous unsanitary conditions.”
All dogs from Greyhound Friends kennel have been monitored by the Hopkinton animal control officer, Department of Agricultural Resources, and the Animal Rescue League.
The organizations will continue overseeing conditions at the kennel.
Greyhound Friends employee John Mottern pointed out areas of the kennels that he said were previously in need of work, but have since been addressed.
“When you run thousands of dogs through here, there’s wear and tear,” said Mottern. “So they really did need to be upgraded. Things liker rust down here, and some of these had started to rust away. I think the concern was that maybe a dog would get hurt. No dog was ever hurt by these kennels. But they were rusty and needed to be replaced.”
Hopkinton’s Board of Selectmen will hold a public hearing on March 4 to determine the future of the kennel’s license.
Coleman said that despite the criminal charges, the community has been supportive of the kennel.
“I thank everyone for their support. People have been very supportive, very giving. That’s very encouraging,” said Coleman.