Police Photos of Raid on Animal Sanctuary: WARNING GRAPHIC IMAGES

Photos of the conditions of animals at Dazzle's Painted Pastures Animal Rescue and Sanctuary, raided by the sheriff's office and animal rescue workers on Friday.

Our goal in publishing these photos is not to be shocking, but to show the conditions at Dazzle's Painted Pastures Animal Rescue and Sanctuary as police and animal control officials found them during . 

Sheriff's police, the Animal Welfare League of Chicago Ridge and Cook County Animal Control removed 63 dogs, 31 cats and six rabbits from the shelter in unincorporated Tinley Park. Investigators also removed 30 horses, ponies, sheep, goats and llamas.

. According to sheriff's police, Hamill thanked investigators for intervening in a situation that had gotten fatally out of hand.

Among the dead animals found were a 3 1/2-year-old miniature horse and a Himalayan cat. Both are shown in the photos above.

We realize these images might be disturbing. After much discussion, we decided the community has a right to see the conditions in which these animals lived. It is our responsibility as a news agency to be as public as possible with the issues that affect and concern our community.

Tinley Park Patch Editor Paul Dailing

melody stegman February 16, 2011 at 11:33 PM
As with most news,alot of the facts will not be reported,and as with most animal abuse cases,shell probably get a slap on the wrist.If it sounds personal its because those of us who love animals are appaled by what this woman did.
Deb Melchert February 16, 2011 at 11:34 PM
Because I live in the area, does not mean I know where this shelter is or that I have been near it. Do you personally drive to every location that is reported in the papers? Again, more ignorant comments because you're upset about the situation. The animals have been removed and the woman will have to face the charges. Was it wrong what happened? Yes. Am I going to keep fretting about it? Sorry, but no. There are more serious issues to address. And personally, as someone who suffers vision reduction from glaucoma, I found your flip comment "are you blind" insulting.
michelle February 16, 2011 at 11:35 PM
All we can do is wait, you are right. Pray for the truth to come out and hope no more living things get hurt.
Deb Melchert February 16, 2011 at 11:37 PM
Amen to that.
jennifer February 16, 2011 at 11:46 PM
Deb do you have any animals? If so what?
Deb Melchert February 16, 2011 at 11:52 PM
Haven't had a dog since Lucky died in '98. The kids got older and weren't home, we both worked full time, so it wouldn't have been fair to get another dog only to leave him home alone all day. Funny you should ask. Now that I'm retired, we were just talking about getting another dog last night! We are expecting our first grandchild in about 6 weeks and I'll be baby sitting while Mom and Dad are at work, so we may wait a bit to get settled in with the new one. When we're ready, we'll probably go back to PAWS. That's where we go Lucky from. Way back when they were in the little brick building behind public works.
Deb Melchert February 16, 2011 at 11:54 PM
Was just thinking that since Lucky died, we have gone from a queen size bed to a king size. More room for the 3 of us!
jennifer February 17, 2011 at 12:23 AM
the way melody feels about seeing those animals on the screen that died is how you felt about your dog that passed. There are some people that are just huge animal activists that love all animals and dispise those that treat them badly. We all had bad experiences with dawn and have learned that she is using money to purchase 3 hummers and plastic surgery and a number of other "luxuries" while her animals suffer. We also learned that she purchases these animals and treats them this way. It wasnt that they were donated like at a shelter, she bought them to leave them in their own feces and didnt feed them. I had a personal experience with her where her neglect killed my kitten. So before you get angry for peoples comments, please consider their intensions. People around here are all very angry right now, and really need to vent. Agruing with them will do nothing but further irritate them and make them believe you are on the side of this woman as opposed to the animals. Im sure if someone treated one of your animals that way you would be thinking about it all night and blogging about it, and trying to stop the person from every touching another animal again!
Deb Melchert February 17, 2011 at 12:33 AM
I wasn't arguing with anyone. I just questioned a comment that had no bearing on the article AS IT WAS WRITTEN or on the pictures SHOWN. And I never got rude or ignorant like a few of the comments directed my way. I love animals as much as anyone, especially dogs. My question would never have been posted had the information you now provide was listed earlier. If she did indeed use money for herself, that was donated for care of the animals, then she should face the maximum penalties allowed. Obviously, some of you have had dealings with this woman. Those should have been posted before any comments made about anything that is not in the article and not privy to those who didn't deal with her. It would have saved a lot of aggravation and finger pointing. At least it seems we're all on the same page now.
Deb Melchert February 19, 2011 at 02:50 PM
To those of you following this article, there is a much more in depth report in today's Sun-Times, including pics of some terribly malnourished horses. Included in the article are statements from customers and former volunteers who willingly gave their names and the towns they live in. What I read was pretty despicable. Now the comments about cars and clothes makes sense. Hopefully these folks will testify in court and the appropriate punishment handed out. I do have one question that hopefully, either the readers or an editor can answer. One person commented on Dawn being "part of a network that profits from shuffling horses around". The pictures are of obviously neglected animals. I'm wondering what profit is to made from these poor things? Who would pay for a horse that looks like this? Is there money to be had from sending them from one shelter to another? Just trying to make sense of something not very clear to most of us. And hoping that if there is such a "network", then maybe the downfall of Dazzles will have a domino effect and bring down the other places.
michelle February 19, 2011 at 10:31 PM
. I did hear someone say something like that and I did not understand either. I would like that info also. very sad
jennifer February 20, 2011 at 12:30 AM
My thought would be that she could make money from the government and grants for these animals. Also, through donations. People would generally go there, see the shape these animals were in, she could say they came in that way, and people would donate to help these animlas out. Also, from what I understand after speaking with someone i met during this breakthough was that she would also "gift" out some of these animals to several different people and tell them they could board the "gifted" horse and take care of them for cheaper board than you could ever find anywhere else. Thus making so much more money on the animal on a monthly basis. Also, people would feel sorry for the animals when they go there and want to purchase the animal to nurse it back to health. I believe someone told me that is worth $900 to the clinic to adopt a horse. There are many ways she could make money on these horses.
Deb Melchert February 20, 2011 at 01:39 AM
Amazing what some people will do to cheat someone else out of a few $$$. Anyone who does this should spend the rest of their life in a cage of their own.
michelle February 20, 2011 at 02:57 AM
I somtimes believe the justice system does not get it right. But I really hope you are right ,anyone with that phoney attitude and disreguard for life deserves to be in a cage for a long,long time. Maybe they should not clean it either.
Paul Dailing February 21, 2011 at 08:15 PM
I've deleted a couple comments alleging some things about Ms. Hamill's personal life. Let's keep this discussion about the conditions of the animals or about the criminal charges. If anyone has information about this case they want to share or if you want to argue to have your comments put back on the site, feel free to either post here, e-mail me at pauld@patch.com or call me at 708-261-8247. I'm very willing to listen and talk (and I am looking for more leads as we continue to follow this), but I just want to keep the discussion above board. I hope everyone understands. Paul Dailing Tinley Park Patch Editor
William Ayers February 23, 2011 at 12:57 PM
Melchert- WTF are you babbling about?"All I see are a couple of dead animals".... All I see is a moron.
Paul Dailing February 23, 2011 at 07:17 PM
Mr. Ayers, if you have nothing to add other than insults and pathetic attempts to sneak swear words past the filters (yes, I know what the F stands for), I suggest you have nothing to offer to this discussion. You have the rest of the Internet to offer your smears to people you don't know. Don't do it here. Paul Dailing Tinley Park Patch Editor
Theresa Burgoon March 31, 2011 at 02:02 PM
I just think that the whole situation is just sad. I think that it is sad that the law looks at animals as "property". I mean seriously, can you look at your family cat, dog or guinea pig and not call them a member of your family? I just hope that people understand that there are probably hundreds of pictures of dead and injured animals that were not shown. And Melody is right, usually the offenders, once convicted only get a slap on the wrist. There is a hundred way that the situation could have been helped. There are a ton of places that would have taken in the animals if it became too much for her to handle. The sad part is that she didn't use them. I mean Forest View Farms took in 2 of the horses if I am not mistaken, and there are a bunch of shelters that would have taken in the animals, but instead some of the animals were sick and suffering. I so hope that she does pay for her actions, if not legally but mentally.
Theresa Burgoon March 31, 2011 at 02:11 PM
I know that not everyone knows this or has gone past the property but Dawn did have 2 or 3 Hummers and did wear really nice clothes. I did run into her a couple of times at the grocery store when I asked her about animals that were up for adoption. It does seem odd that she had these expensive vehicles yet the animals were so neglected. I understand that the public can only comment on what they read in the article, so this is my little addition.
michelle March 31, 2011 at 07:42 PM
We as the public have to make sure that this just does not go away. I just read that Dawn was arrested again on 3-30. It seems that they might not drop charges and add more, I do not know what the charges were for. Animals are parts of famlies,friends,working animals and never should they be abused in the ways that Dawn let them.
jennifer March 31, 2011 at 10:24 PM
Really thats funny cause i talked to the cook county sheriff and she paid for the hummers with a personal check..Donantion my ass
jennifer March 31, 2011 at 10:27 PM
Kelly i had a personal experience with her, and she is all the things they are saying!! The things that arent true are coming out of her mouth.
jennifer March 31, 2011 at 10:30 PM
Really kelsey, thats funny cause they did a check on her financials and she wrote checks, personal checks for those hummers. And, they also have proff that she did use the rescue money for personal things. The IRS was already contacted. My god are you friends with her and trying to stick up for her? I suppose so! Sad though that she has you fooled.
Paul Dailing March 31, 2011 at 10:58 PM
The Cook County Sheriff's Office has released the new charges filed against Ms. Hamill after her March 30 arrest. You can read the story here: http://tinleypark.patch.com/articles/new-charges-filed-against-dazzles-painted-pastures-owner
Theresa Burgoon April 01, 2011 at 01:26 AM
To Kelsey, how much is she paying you to stick up for her? She has had her financials looked into and what a surprize, She DID PAY FOR THE HUMMERS WITH A PERSONAL CHECK!!!!! So how then were they "donated"? And ponder me this, why in all that is unholy, would ONE person need 3 Hummers and a sportscar, when a perfectly reasonably priced pickup truck would still do the job of hauling trailers? If she was strapped for cash to take proper care of the animals she could have easily sold the gas guzzling not eco friendly hunks of steel. I honestly don't understand how you can stick up for someone when there is proof beyond a shadow of a doubt that those animals were NOT cared for properly. She tried to say that she was unaware of the animals being on her property, how may I ask are you not aware of almost 100 animals on your land? Another question, how can you say that what they are putting out there isn't true when the proof is in the pictures and legal documents? Just admit it, she fooled you too.
jennifer April 01, 2011 at 02:46 AM
Kelsey, They were not cared for properly for years. There have been so many complaints over the years, but the department of ag. couldnt/didnt get to all her claims. Also, you mean to tell me that one person is responsible for all the additional animals that were brought into this facility? Highly unlikely. Not only that, but what about the requests for food and water for these animals. They went unanswered. What about not giving shots to the animals that were necessary, or administaring them herself, illegally? Are you really going to defend these actions? If so, that makes you just as guilty. Can I tell you that when I told Dawn about all the problems I had with an animal that I got from there, she said she didnt care!!! Straight from her mouth. When I asked for shot records, she wouldnt give them to me!!! I understand sticking up for your friends, but at what point do you notice there are too many people saying these things about her, and having these experiences with her? At what point, do you sit back and say, ya she should have called for help long before she did. At what point, do you say ya shes my friend, but she is WRONG!!! You stated those cars were donated to her, but the sheriff told me that she wrote a personal check for all those vehicles. That came from the sheriff, he has the canceled checks, how can you defend that? You are obviously a very loyal friend, but you have to open your eyes to whats really happening!!!
jennifer April 01, 2011 at 02:51 AM
They also have vet records showing that the last time the horse that was found dead on the property was seen was over a year earlier, or just about a year. If it was sick, it should have had additional care. All these people, and all these things coming out arent just to slander an innocent woman. Its not just a grudge that people have against her, and thought this would be a good way to get back at her. Its simply the truth! I realize that this is all hard to hear about a friend, but you should really look into all this yourself.
Theresa Burgoon April 01, 2011 at 02:15 PM
Dear Kelsey, When I did go and offer my services as a volunteer, I questioned her on some things and you know what she did? Do you? She yelled at me, told me that I had no right to question her and to get off her land. All that I asked her was is it ok for the hay to sit outside like that and is it supposed to have that many weeds in it. I didn't think that was much. SO I DID TRY TO HELP BUT SHE PUSHED ME AWAY!!! If those animals were cared for properly why did she have to lie about the shots and ages, why did the sheriff have grounds to get warrants for a raid to remove the animals? They just can't take animals for no reason you know. Look at all of the complaints that people have filed with the dept. of ag. These people have no reason to "get her". They just bought animals that she lied about and they died! Flea ridden and sick. Two kittens that were bought at a Pet Smart adoption event she told people were about 6 weeks old and had their shots when in reality they were 3 weeks and no shots. This didn't happen just once. How can you explain that away.
jennifer April 01, 2011 at 02:28 PM
Theresa did you speak with the cook county sheriff? He is looking for more and more people to tell their story. I can give you his information if you havent talked to him yet. Email me at jenniferfcc1@hotmail.com Thanks!
michelle April 01, 2011 at 08:19 PM
I really think highly of all the people that are not afraid to speak the truth about this situation. It will help to put Dawn where she needs to go, so that this does not disappear. I am stunned that she would go so far as forgery for the purpose of money. Thank you all for keeping this alive.


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