More than 30 dogs and cats were seized from the home of Nancy Boeckel following concerns that they weren't well cared for. But Boeckel says she's the one who can properly care for the animals, many of which are sick.
A Southbury woman who was charged with 34 counts of animal cruelty will appear in Waterbury Superior Court this morning.
Officials seized 31 dogs and three cats from Nancy Boeckel in September. She said she was rescuing them and wants the animals back.
Boeckel said she was running an animal rescue business out of her Georges Hill Road home and the dogs were neither abused nor neglected.
"My calling was really taking in the sick and injured dogs, the dogs that were scheduled to die," said Boeckel, explaining that she has helped dozens of previously unwanted dogs find new homes.
The State Dept. of Agriculture said there were concerns that the dogs weren't being properly cared for, but Boeckel said she is the only one who knows how to properly address their medical needs.
George Krivda of the State Department of Agriculture said the dogs would not have been seized if there wasn’t a real concern for their well-being.
Krivda said the case is being handled by the town of Southbury and that state officers arrived at the home to assist local animal control.
All the animals are being examined by a veterinarian and officials saidthe pets had parasites, eye infections and tumors.
Boeckel said all of the animals were much worse when they came into her care and they were improving at her home rescue.
"I want the people to know that I am not a hoarder," Boeckel said. "If they could only see what the dogs looked like when they came to me."
Krivda said her problems with Southbury Animal Control date back to July, when she had a stroke and officials offered to take the dogs off her hands.
"I've never been happier in my life than I have been since I've been taking care of these dogs, and they were taken away from me," said Boeckel. "And I don't know why."
Animal control plans to seek probation for Boeckel and try to limit the number of animals she can have.