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Animal Rescue Operator Arrested In Madison

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Donna Lee Carswell (Courtesy Department of Agriculture)

Donna Lee Carswell (Courtesy Department of Agriculture)

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HARTFORD (CBS Connecticut) — A Georgia woman was arrested in Madison over the weekend by Animal Control Officers from the Connecticut Agriculture Department.  Commissioner Steven Reviczky says Donna Lee Carswell faces animal cruelty and other charges.  (See photos from the arrest, courtesy of the Agriculture Department)

Reviczky says consumers and the Rhode Island State Veterinarian had complained that Carswell’s “Nick of Time” animal rescue business was providing sick animals for adoption with Connecticut and Rhode Island residents.

Authorities set up a sting, pretending to be purchasing a dog from her,  making the transaction at a commuter parking lot in Madison.  When she arrived,  the officers seized ten cats and two dogs,  all showing signs of respiratory distress.  They were being transported in feces- and urine-covered enclosures.  The animals were taken to a veterinarian to be examined, and two were so ill they were euthanized.

Carswell is charged with twelve counts of cruelty to animals, twelve counts of failing to have official interstate animal health certificates, failure to register as an animal importer, failure to notify the Department of Agriculture of an animal adoption event, operating a pet shop without a license, and failure to have animals examined by a veterinarian prior to adoption.

She is due in court next week.

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