Orange County District Attorney David M. Hoovler announced today that Daniel Duthie, age 73, and Lauretta Duthie, age 73, of Warwick, were convicted, following a jury trial in Warwick Town Court, of Overdriving, Torturing and Injuring Animals and Failure to Provide Proper Sustenance. Each defendant faces a maximum sentence of up to one year incarceration in Orange County Jail, a $1,000.00 fine, and substantial restitution for monies that were expended on the dogs’ care and maintenance following their seizure. The Duthies will also be required to register with the Orange County Animal Abuse Registry and will be prohibited from owning dogs for fifteen years. Sentencing in the case is scheduled for July 12, 2022.
The charges against the Duthies stemmed from the investigation of a complaint made by a former employee who was working for Laurdan Kennels, LLC, a small kennel that was operated by the Duthies on their property. On November 22, 2019, members of the Town of Warwick Police Department executed a search warrant for a cottage that was located on the defendants’ property and removed a thirteen-year-old blind and deaf English Springer Spaniel named Jenna, who was found wandering inside the cottage, along with eleven other dogs who were found to be living in cages and steel kennels. Jenna was found to have a baseball size ulcerated tumor on her back that had become infected and smelled of rotting flesh, as well as an injury to her forehead and heavy matting on her legs.
At trial, the evidence showed that the defendants were aware of Jenna’s condition more than a year earlier and ignored the recommendations of two veterinarians to have the tumor surgically removed. The defendants also moved Jenna from the main house to the cottage, where she was found living with the other dogs in dirty conditions and without fresh air.
District Attorney Hoovler thanked the Town of Warwick Police Department for their investigation and the arrest of the defendants along with the assistance of the Town of Warwick’s Animal Control Officers. District Attorney Hoovler also thanked the Warwick Valley Humane Society, the Mid Atlantic English Springer Spaniel Rescue, and the veterinarians who examined the dogs as well as the foster families who cared for the dogs.
“Animals are amongst the most vulnerable victims of crime,” said District Attorney David M. Hoovler. “I am particularly disturbed in this case that the perpetrators of the horrific abuse of these animals were people in a position of trust to care for animals. My Office will continue to give a voice to the voiceless and to hold accountable anyone who would hurt or mistreat an animal in this way. I commend the Warwick Police Department for their investigation and the collaborative efforts of the community who came together to care for the animals.”