Horse Among Dead Animals Found in Tinley Park Shelter

Owner charged with cruelty, denies wrongdoing

Sunday, Feb 13, 2011  |  Updated 10:03 AM CDT
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Animal Lovers React to Tinley Park Shelter Fiasco

A dog sits in a cage after being rescued from a Tinley Park shelter, where the owner was charged with abuse.

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Animal Lovers React to Tinley Park Shelter Fiasco

A dog owner and an animal welfare group react after a Tinley Park shelter owner is charged with cruelty to animals.
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The overwhelmed owner of an animal sanctuary has been charged with multiple counts of neglect and cruelty after authorities found dead, sick and malnourished animals at the 3-acre facility in Tinley Park.

Dawn Hamill, 41, has been charged with eight counts of neglect of owner's duties and two counts of cruel treatment of animals.

Officers visited Dazzle's Painted Pastures on Friday with a search warrant. They found a dead miniature horse and a dead Himalayan cat. Officers seized 63 dogs, 31 cats and six rabbits. They also removed 30 horses, ponies, sheep, goats and llamas.

Hamill told NBC Chicago she "didn't do anything wrong" and called the case "a huge misunderstanding," but admitted her staff took in more than they could handle.

Hamill's next court date is March 11. It was not immediately clear if she has an attorney. The sheriff's department says she thanked investigators for intervening.

If you are interested in taking one of the shelter animals home, call the Animal Welfare Leauge in Chicago Ridge at 708-636-8586.

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