Long Island House of Horrors: Animal Abuse in a Suburban Backyard

Katy Steere

 

On November 5, 2009 43-year-old Sharon McDonough of Selden, New York was arrested on charges of running a “pet concentration camp” in her Long Island home. Upon investigation, the remains of at least 20 dogs were found buried in her backyard in shallow graves. Neighbor Andrea Martinez said, “The smell was unbearable. They were taking bags out by the dozen. It was crazy.”

McDonough’s children claim she forced them to help torture the animals. Sharon’s eldest son, Doug, 21, told reporters, “She would have the oldest kids hold down the dog while we duct-taped his mouth and she would hit him.” Five dogs and a cat were removed from the home, all found packed into cages with feces and urine in their matted coats. They were being cared for at the Suffolk County SPCA and are now up for adoption. Her six daughters, aged 18 months to 13 years old, were also removed from her custody.

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Never Say Never: Bikers and Puppies, a good mix.

Gillian Lyons

bio_batsoThe other day I received an email from a family friend who had recently discovered a new National Geographic show that focuses itself around the rescue group Rescue Ink. Rescue Ink is, according to its website, “a rescue group unlike any you’ve seen before: a bunch of tattooed, motorcycle-riding tough guys who have joined together to fight animal cruelty.” My family friend wanted to know how I felt about the show- she thought it was a hilarious new idea.

New idea? I was perplexed by this statement at first- what’s so new about a Rescue Group? But as I thought about it, I realized what she meant. Any practicing vegetarian, vegan or animal welfarist will tell you that they’ve come across people who have teased them about their beliefs and practices. Why is this? Perhaps it’s because, in a lot of ways, the general public has a picture of people who place animal rights high on their list of priorities as emotional, wimpy and quite frankly- silly.

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