A 64-year-old woman from Georgia is facing animal cruelty charges after reportedly putting sick animals up for adoption in Connecticut and Rhode Island, some of which had to be euthanized, according to the Department of Agriculture.
Donna Lee Carswell, of Grovetown, Ga., was arrested Saturday in Madison and is facing 12 counts of cruelty to animals and other related charges. Animal control officers went undercover and met Carswell in a parking lot, leading her to believe they were interested in adopting a dog.
Once there, they found 10 cats and two dogs being kept in dirty enclosures covered in feces and urine. The animals were confiscated and immediately taken to a veterinarian, and two of the cats needed to be euthanized due to respiratory problems.
The investigation stems from consumer complaints and a tip from the Rhode Island state veterinarian, who told authorities Carswell was putting sick animals up for adoption in Connecticut and Rhode Island through her rescue business called Nick of Time.
Nick of Time Rescue website says Caswell is the director and claims "she does this out ofht egoodness of her heart, driving hours at a time to save animals from a barbaric death."
According to the website, Nick of Time was founded seven years ago as a dog rescue and has since expanded to include cats. Caswell does not get paid but accepts donations and adoption fees, the site says.
Carswell is charged with a total of 28 counts, including 12 counts of cruelty to animals, 12 counts of failing to have official interstate animal health certificates, failure to register as an animal importer, failure to notify the Dept. of Agriculture of an animal adoption event, opening a pet shop without a license and failure to have animals checked by a veterinarian prior to adoption.
She was released on a promise to appear and is due in New Haven Superior Court on Feb. 4.