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it just goes to show that you never really know

Posted by on Nov. 9, 2009 at 9:03 AM
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Selden woman charged with animal cruelty

Quick Summary

Authorities were at the home Saturday afternoon digging in the backyard, according to the SPCA.

An SPCA Officer reacts as

Photo credit: Ed Betz | An SPCA Officer reacts as another officer unearths animal remains in Selden.

An official said at least 20 carcasses were dug up Saturday from the backyard of a Selden woman who was charged with animal cruelty after her pets were seized by the SPCA.

>> Read the latest news on the Sharon McDonough animal cruelty case

>>>PHOTOS: Selden woman accused of animal cruelty

In an eerie scene, SPCA detectives working in a floodlit yard last night dug up one reeking black plastic garbage bag after another, the contents unrecognizable. At times, the smell was overpowering.

Regarding the carcasses dug up Saturday, as well as another found Thursday, "we still have to make determination on the cause of death and any forthcoming charges," Chief Roy Gross of the Suffolk Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals said.

Of one carcass that was found, Gross said, "There is suspected foul play with this animal." He encouraged anyone with information to call the SPCA at 631-382-7722 and said calls would be kept confidential.

Sharon McDonough, 43, of 18 Awixa Place, was arrested Saturday and charged with a misdemeanor count of animal cruelty after five dogs were found in the house Thursday in feces, housed in small cages with no food or water, Gross said. A cat, bird and hamster were also taken from the house, Gross said.

McDonough lives in the home with her seven children, who range in age from 18 months to 21, neighbors said.

Authorities went to the home after complaints from neighbors and the animal rescue group Rescue Ink.

Prosecutors were investigating allegations that neighborhood pets were buried in McDonough's backyard, Suffolk district attorney spokesman Bob Clifford said Friday. SPCA investigators obtained a search warrant to dig.

It was unclear last night whether the SPCA would continue to dig in the yard.

The woman's son, Doug, had a fight with his mother Thursday and called Rescue Ink, according to Toniann McKee, 42, of Islip Terrace, who said she is the aunt of Doug McDonough's girlfriend.

McKee went to the home last night with her niece and Doug McDonough; the couple went into the home to retrieve a photo of Sharon McDonough and remained in the house with police, McKee said. Doug McDonough emerged later but declined to comment. No one else appeared to be home.

Neighbors said they were stunned. They said the children were well-behaved and that Sharon McDonough appeared to be a mindful mother who met her children at the bus stop and would stop to chat with neighbors.

"We're in complete shock," said a neighbor who did not want to be identified.

Another neighbor who did not want to give her name said the family had lived for 14 or 15 years in the subdivision, called Nature's Gardens.

They said the children's father was killed when he collided with a truck as he drove to work. Darren McDonough, 41, died in May 2008 when he made a sudden U-turn in front of a container truck, Suffolk police said at the time. They said the truck driver was not charged.

After the accident, area residents came together, buying the children school supplies, Christmas presents and bunk beds, and a neighbor was helping fix up the backyard, residents said.

The two-story home, however, appeared dilapidated last night, with an overgrown, debris-piled backyard where the detectives worked under floodlights borrowed from the Selden Fire Department.

Statues of dogs dotted the front yard, which also had a mailbox with a dog's face.

Crime scene tape was strung across the front steps. A sport utility vehicle was parked in front of the house, stickers of children and dogs on the back.

i am a proud mommy of 1 ornery 1 year old little boy and one very goofy 4 year old little girl, ive been married for 2 years, together for almost 5. fun loving, eco-friendly, creative,different strokes work for different folks, stay at home and work at home mommy!

by on Nov. 9, 2009 at 9:03 AM
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