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Shelter owner guilty of abusing animals

Dawn Hamill. | File photo

Dawn Hamill. | File photo

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Updated: October 17, 2012 6:42AM



A Cook County jury on Friday night found the owner of an animal shelter near Tinley Park guilty on eight of 10 misdemeanor charges of mistreating animals at the shelter.

Jurors at the courthouse in Markham deliberated for nearly five hours before convicting Dawn Hamill, owner of Dazzle’s Painted Pastures Rescue and Sanctuary, 5555 W. 175th St., Bremen Township.

Her attorney, Purav Bhatt, said he was “disappointed with the verdict because the evidence pointed to her being found not guilty.”

Bhatt said he also was disappointed at not being able to call as a witness former Cook County sheriff’s police Animal Crimes Unit investigator Larry Draus, who was originally to be a key state witness but was not called by prosecutors after he was indicted on federal extortion charges for trafficking cigarettes in an unrelated case.

Hamill’s shelter, which still is operating, was raided Feb. 11, 2011, by the animal crimes unit, which removed more than 100 animals, mostly dogs and cats, along with a dead miniature horse and dead cat.

Thomas Finn, Casey Toner



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