Agency Removes Animals From Painted Pastures
Workers from the Animal Welfare League picked up animals from Dazzle's Painted Pastures Animal Rescue and Sanctuary on Wednesday, the same day an impromptu hearing clarified a judge's sentencing orders.
Animals being housed at Dazzle's Painted Pastures Animal Rescue and Sanctuary were removed by from the three-acre property Wednesday, Oct. 3, the day after the rescue's owner was sentenced on eight counts of misdemeanor violation of owner's duties.
Dawn Hamill, 43, was found guilty on the eight counts of violation of owner's by a jury on Sept. 14, but was found not guilty on two more serious charges of animal cruelty and abuse. The charges stemmed from a Feb. 11, 2011, raid on Painted Pastures, where eight puppies were reportedly found in cold, filthy conditions. The animal cruelty charges she was acquitted on were related to a miniature horse and Himalayan cat found dead on the property.
Workers from the Animal Welfare League, with officers from the Cook County Sheriff's Police on hand, were seen putting dogs from the Tinley Park shelter into pet carriers and vehicles with built-in cages Wednesday afternoon. As the vehicles were ready to leave the sanctuary, an Animal Welfare League worker was overheard telling a sheriff's officer that Hamill had relinquished 27 dogs and nine cats to the agency.
Calls to the Animal Welfare League to determine the official number of animals removed were not returned. It also is unknown if the agency will need to make a return visit to the shelter to remove more animals.
Earlier Wednesday, Hamill, her defense attorney Purav Bhatt and Cook County Assistant State's Attorney Richard Stake Jr. went before Judge Anna Helen Demacopolous in an unscheduled hearing to clarify the judge's orders given during Tuesday's sentencing. Stake's co-counsel, Sarah Naughton, reportedly can't litigate cases while she is on administrative leave following an arrest during a suspected drunken brawl outside a lingerie shop.
During Tuesday's sentencing, the judge had ordered Hamill to relinquish all of her animals except up to five personal pets pending the results of a psychiatric evaluation -- but gave no details about how the animals would be removed, whether Hamill could adopt them out or the timeframe, Bhatt explained to Patch late Wednesday afternoon.
"We essentially had to go before the bench and clarify the judge's orders," Bhatt said. Hamill was meeting with her probation officer Wednesday morning when the officer realized the order wasn't clear, he said.
"So the probation officer walked Dawn [Hamill] upstairs to [Demacopolous'] courtroom and raised the issue," Bhatt said.
Bhatt happened to be in the courthouse during the same time, so Stake was summoned and the judge called a hearing, Bhatt said.
"We were all there, so we took care of it," he said.
All the details weren't immediately worked out, however, because the state hadn't yet contacted anyone to remove the animals, Bhatt said. Bhatt wasn't aware of any details surrounding the removal of the animals from Hamill's property Wednesday afternoon.
Hamill would not answer reporters' questions after the animals had been removed. She said she had cooperated with officials and did what the judge had ordered before going back inside her home.
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