A Greenwich woman is under arrest following a months-long investigation into animal cruelty allegations, according to New Canaan police.
Catherine Palmer, 48, was arrested and charged on Nov. 29 with three counts of cruelty to animals, police said.
Police said Palmer traveled across New England during the Thanksgiving weekend with a vehicle full of puppies making deliveries to people who purchased them, though she had no license to sell animals.
Multiple customers of Palmer's have spoken with police about their experiences, police said. According to police, one Massachusetts family received a puppy on Nov. 25 but found themselves in the emergency the next day with the puppy in critical condition before it passed away.
The investigation began on Aug. 12 when a tenant on Butler Lane in New Canaan called police about a sick puppy named Gracie, according to the arrest warrant. The tenant told officers that Palmer does not live at the home but regularly leaves puppies there and overnight switched out a healthy puppy with one who was ill, police said. Palmer denied switching puppies to officers, who said they observed unsanitary conditions at the location for both the dogs and tenants, according to the warrant.
Palmer agreed to take the sick dog, Gracie, to a veterinary clinic in Norwalk for treatment, where police said a doctor found the dog to have a low temperature and be thin and pale.
An animal control officer who had also responded to the New Canaan house discovered papers on the roadway that she said showed evidence of puppy broker contracts and indications Palmer was importing puppies and operating a pet store without a license, the warrant states. Police tried to speak with Palmer further but were unable to, according to the warrant.
On Sept. 21, animal control received a call about two puppies who had died at the home in New Caanan and were also told about a puppy who died on Sept. 16, police said. The two puppies who died on Sept. 21 were brought to UCONN for an exam, in which doctors said they both had Parvovirus and one had pneumonia, according to the warrant.
Palmer surrendered to police after a warrant was issued, police said. She was released on a $10,000 bond and ordered not to possess any animals. Palmer is due back in court on Dec. 28.
Police are asking anyone with information on the case to contact the NCPD Animal Control Unit via email at: firstname.lastname@example.org