A Framingham District Court judge denied a motion to dismiss an animal cruelty charge against Greyhound Friends Director Louise Coleman despite her lawyer’s argument that authorities lack probable cause to support the charge.
Judge Jennifer Stark denied the motion, saying the facts “demonstrate probable cause to believe that the defendant unnecessarily failed to provide the animals with the proper sanitary environment,” according to her decision issued Wednesday. A status hearing is set for Tuesday.
Coleman, 72, was charged with one felony count of animal cruelty by Lt. Alan Borgal of the Animal Rescue League of Boston in March after an investigation involving multiple animal and law enforcement agencies. Greyhound Friends is a dog rescue shelter in Hopkinton founded by Coleman in 1983. Over the last 30 years, Greyhound Friends faced numerous violations ranging from housing more dogs than its license permitted to unsanitary conditions.
Her attorney, Daniel Cappetta, asked Stark to throw out the charge, claiming the case lacks probable cause for unsanitary conditions, custody of the animals and because the state law is “unconstitutionally vague.”
“Two inspection reports detail a litany of issues with the cleanliness of the facility and how it could have and was affecting the health of the animals who lived there,” Stark wrote in her decision. “For these reasons, the statute does not violate the defendant’s rights to due process under the federal and state constitutions.”
Coleman took a leave of absence from Greyhound Friends after she was charged in March. She resigned from the organization’s board of directors.
On Jan. 23, Hopkinton animal control suspended Greyhound Friends’ license after the state ordered the shelter to stop taking in new out-of-state dogs because the kennel needed repairs. The state ordered the shelter to upgrade its individual kennels with heavier gauge chain-link…