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Sheriff's Officers Remove Animals From Local Shelter

More than 100 animals taken away, according to reports. Director of Painted Pastures Animal Rescue and Sanctuary is taken into custody.

Cook County Sheriff's officers along with members of the Animal Welfare League of Chicago Ridge removed animals Friday afternoon from Painted Pastures Animal Rescue and Sanctuary in unincorporated Tinley Park.

According to a report on NBC Chicago's website, more than 100 animals were taken from the sanctuary, including more than 65 dogs. Dead animals also were found on the property, according to the report, which cited a source close to the investigation.

A woman a Patch photographer identified as Dawn Hamill, director of operations at Painted Pastures, was seen being taken into custody by officers.

Sheriff's office spokeswoman Liane Jackson said no information would be available about the case until charges were filed. A spokeswoman from the Animal Welfare League also would not release any information about the removal at this time.

A call to Painted Pastures was answered by an unidentified man who said a statement would be made "approximately one year from now" and then hung up.

Painted Pastures, 5555 W. 175th St., is a nonprofit, no-kill animal shelter and sanctuary. 

"As a no kill shelter and sanctuary, our mission is to rescue and offer care and rehabilitation for neglected , abandoned, or unwanted companion, farm, and exotic animals," reads a statement on its website.

Postings on Pleasant Pastures Facebook page related information about a disgruntled employee who was spreading rumors that the sanctuary was bankrupt and closing. The posting, which is reprinted as it appears on the Facebook page, went on to blame the employee for possible overcrowding issues.

"WE R TRYING TO PLACE MANY OF OUR DOGS DUE TO THIS EMPLOYEE TAKING IN MORE DOGS THAN WE CAN HANDLE AT THIS TIME....THE DOGS ARE IN GOOD SHAPE AND HAVE HAD MEDICAL TREATMENT...BUT I AS THE DIRECTOR DO NOT BELIEVE WE CAN GIVE PROPER ATTENTION TO THIS NUMBER OF ANIMALS."

Lilly Melin February 12, 2011 at 05:21 PM
Wow...will have to see what happens with this one...
Tricia February 12, 2011 at 09:44 PM
I know Dawn and she is a very sweet loving person. She absolutely loves and adores all animals. It is very sad to hear of this news. Our prayers are with you Dawn in this sad event.
michelle February 15, 2011 at 09:49 PM
Well Dawn should have given alot more attention to the animals and thier surrondings, All this did not happen in weeks, it took many months to get this bad. Where was she??? Did she not go outside her own shelter? To me it certainly looks like a clear cut case of neglect, She is the owner , and should the one held responsable
ashley February 16, 2011 at 08:28 PM
im so suprised that this has occurred i knew her an she was a very high maintence person, im just wondering were all the donations went for this shelter, i still cant believe this happened i knew her as a friend an now she has shown her true colors
michelle February 16, 2011 at 09:13 PM
maybe the donations went for the "high maintence, nails, tattoos, cars hummers etc." andnot to keep the animals in conditions inwhich they deserve.

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