A New Britain woman is facing animal cruelty charges after her out-of-control pit bulls attacked and killed several animals, including one of her other dogs, according to the warrant for her arrest.
Laura Sataline, 53, of New Britain, was arrested Jan. 16 and charged with two counts of cruelty to animals and three counts of violation of an animal restraint order.
"There is no indication at all that they were aggressive to people, but they were animal-aggressive," explained New Britain police spokesman Capt. Thomas Steck.
Police said they have received several complaints about Sataline’s dogs since 2012, including calls from neighbors who said the woman’s dogs often fought with each other, escaped the house and roamed the neighborhood.
According to police reports, authorities documented several more problems leading up to Sataline's arrest last week, including attacks that led to the deaths of at least four animals.
Sataline was cited in 2013 after her dogs got loose and attacked two other dogs in the neighborhood, police said.
Then, in February 2014, West Hartford Animal Control stepped in after someone spotted Sataline's dog Lucy badly injured in the front seat of her car at Westfarms Mall, according to court documents.
When asked why she had gone shopping instead of taking the dog to a veterinarian, Sataline said she treats her dogs at home and planned to soak Lucy in a bath when she got home, according to the documents.
On the officer's insistence, Sataline brought Lucy to the Hartford Veterinary Hospital, where she was treated for puncture wounds, lacerations and swelling, according to police.
Months later, in November, police received an anonymous call from someone reporting that Sataline's dogs were fighting in her backyard, according to police. Lucy was again hurt, and medical bills climbed to $600 so the family opted to euthanize her because they couldn't afford to pay, police said.
Police cited Sataline two days later for four counts of unlicensed dogs.
Concerned about the animals, police suggested Sataline give up one or two dogs or separate them, but Sataline refused to sign over any of her pets and said she could handle them, according to police.
Police issued an animal restraint order to prevent Sataline from keeping the dogs together or leaving them outside unattended. They also required Sataline to keep the dogs muzzled whenever they left the house.
In December, a woman called police to say one of Sataline's dogs had killed her cat, according to police. The complainant told police she didn’t want Sataline’s dogs in her home, but eventually agreed to after she was assured the dogs were well-behaved.
Sataline had not muzzled the dogs, police said. The animals had run into the complainant's bedroom and attacked her cat. No one could pull them apart, so the woman's son grabbed a crowbar and hit one of the dogs.
The cat's owner went on to tell police that the dogs had killed another dog named Jada and dug up the animal's remains the next day. She also said it was the second cat they had killed, according to police.
Sataline turned herself in to police Friday and told NBC Connecticut through tears that she had the best intentions but got in over her head.
"I want to do what's right. I'm not a criminal, if anything I just love my dogs," she said. "I want them to help me keep my dogs, not... put them to sleep."
Her four pit bulls are currently in the care of New Britain Animal Control. Sataline said she hopes the situation isn't permanent.
"They are the most loving dogs on the planet, and I love them so much, and I miss them so much and I want them back," she said.