Feb 26, 2016 4:18 PM
Owner of Sweet Paws Spa & Inn in Ossipee asks judge to reconsider animal cruelty charges
OSSIPEE - After operator Laurinda Miller of both Sweet Paws Spa & Inn and Sweet Tails Animal Rescue was arrested last summer on charges of animal cruelty, she is asking a judge to reconsider his ruling.
Miller was accused of 21 misdemeanor counts of animal cruelty after authorities executed a search warrant at Sweet Paws Spa & Inn and Sweet Tails Animal Rescue in July 2015.
Police responded to both buildings located at 1800 Route 16 in Center Ossipee, and found seven cats and 59 dogs living in what was described as “deplorable conditions,” while many animals appeared malnourished and dehydrated.
According to the Union Leader, Miller filed a motion to suppress and pleaded "not guilty" trying to argue that the credibility of the witness who made the complaint to police had not been “adequately weighed under the circumstances in granting the search warrant," and that the warrant should be supressed "because it was overbroad and should not have included the home that was immediately adjacent to, although not connected to, the building where the animals were housed.”
In an order issued Feb. 12, the court ruled against Miller saying the state’s interest extended “to the defendant’s business operation in taking in and housing animals, not just the animals themselves. As such the basis for searching any structures on the property for such records was supported by the probable-cause allegations being made, and the request and warrant to do so was not overbroad.”
Justin Littlefield- Miller's public defender- asked the judge Wednesday to reconsider his ruling saying that the informant who tipped off police in the first place lacked proper knowledge regarding Miller's business and home - two separate buildings next to each other.
All animals were removed from Miller's business and later taken to animal shelters in the Mount Washington Valley and Lakes Region.