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Dogs, cats removed from animal rescue are up for adoption

Animal Welfare League workers remove animals from Dawn Hamill's home Bremen Township Illinois Wednesday October 3 2012. | Joseph P.

Animal Welfare League workers remove animals from Dawn Hamill's home in Bremen Township, Illinois, Wednesday, October 3, 2012. | Joseph P. Meier~Sun Times Media

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Want to adopt?

The cost of adoption is $135 per dog and $73 per cat, which includes spay/neuter surgery, vaccinations, microchipping, and collars/leashes or a cat carrier. Anyone interested in adopting one of the animals should call (708) 636-8586.

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Updated: November 6, 2012 6:24AM



Twenty-seven dogs and nine cats removed Wednesday from an animal sanctuary near Tinley Park are up for adoption.

The Animal Welfare League, of Chicago Ridge, removed the animals from Dazzle’s Painted Pastures Rescue and Sanctuary after a judge ordered the shelter’s owner, Dawn Hamill, to surrender all of the animals except five of her own.

Hamill was convicted last month of eight misdemeanor counts of violation of owner’s duties. She was charged after two dead animals and other animals living in poor condition were found during a 2011 raid of the property.

Three miniature horses and two wolves also were removed Wednesday, Animal Welfare League executive director Linda Estrada said Thursday. A farm accepted the horses, and the wolves were donated to a wolf sanctuary in Minnesota, she said.

Estrada said Hamill kept her dogs in her house, the wolves in a barn and the cats in a trailer. She said some of the animals had health issues. One-third of the dogs had fleas, and half had dental problems, which she said was common among smaller dogs. She said some of the cats had fleas and ear mites.

“They were well-fed, but their medical care was not kept up,” Estrada said.

Veterinarians are treating the animals and vaccinating them so they can be adopted, Estrada said.

Five poodles, 10 Chihuahuas, and five Pomeranians were among the dogs removed from the property. Health issues aside, Estrada said the dogs are “adorable,” and that five of them look like Gizmo, the doe-eyed, fluffy, brown-and-white spotted creature from the movie “Gremlins.”

Estrada said the dogs are starved for individual attention, which is what happens when so many dogs live together. Hamill was an animal hoarder, Cook County Judge Anna H. Demacopoulos said during Hamill’s sentencing.

“These guys need to have a home where there’s only a couple of animals,” Estrada said. “They get along with dogs, cats, kids, everything.”

Hamill did not respond to multiple messages left Thursday.

Hamill said after her sentencing Tuesday that she had four horses of her own at the sanctuary and four others, as well as three llamas. Estrada said that by the time her workers arrived Wednesday to remove the animals, the llamas and all but three of the horses were gone.

Hamill’s shelter was raided in February 2011 by the Cook County sheriff’s animal crimes unit. More than 100 animals were removed at that time, including a dead cat and a dead miniature horse.

Before sentencing Hamill on Tuesday, Demacopoulos said video footage from the raid showed 30 to 40 animals were kept in one small room. She sentenced Hamill to one year on probation, an $8,000 fine and 30 days in the Cook County sheriff’s work alternative program, and ordered Hamill to undergo a mental health evaluation.



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