A judge is slated to rule next week whether the Cook County Sheriff's Police had probable cause to search and raid a Tinley Park animal sanctuary in February.
Dawn Hamill, owner of Dazzle’s Painted Pastures Animal Rescue and Sanctuary, has been charged with 38 counts related to animal cruelty and neglect of owner's duties.
Her attorney, Steven Decker, contends that statements of animal neglect made in the search warrant relying on the testimony of a county inspector and a third-party source named “J. Doe” are deliberately false.
To prove his point, Decker has produced building permits that Hamill received to construct temporary winter shelters, as well as an affidavit from Dr. Randy Verink, a veterinarian who swore to Decker that “none of the animals … observed were without proper shelter or in immediate need of veterinarian care.”
Decker said Verink routinely treated animals at the shelter and twice inspected some of the animals in the closing weeks of February, following the raid. Sheriff's deputies hauled off 63 dogs, 31 cats, six rabbits, three horses, two goats and two sheep, according to court records.
Phone records and an affidavit from a Dazzle’s employee are also intended to prove Hamill had been working on days the search warrant said she was not.
A report filed by the state on Nov. 1 argues that the assertions made by "J. Doe" had been vindicated after the raid. Prosecutors are expected next Tuesday, Dec. 27, to produce their own evidence, including a video, to back up the claims of the search warrant.
If a judge sides with the defense, the state could be limited in the evidence and testimony it shows during the trial.