NY judge: Don't let child see dog euthanasia

AP News

10/13/2011 5:02:00 PM - AP News

A woman who let a 10-year-old girl witness a dog being euthanized was convicted Thursday of child endangerment but was exonerated of animal cruelty.

Mona Kanciper, who operates a farm in Manorville, on eastern Long Island about 50 miles from New York City, faces up to a year in jail on the endangerment charge when she's sentenced Dec. 13.

Suffolk County Court Judge James Hudson said after a two-week non-jury trial that Kanciper was justified in euthanizing the dog and two others.

Kanciper's attorney, Paul Gianelli, said the dogs were an aged Saint Bernard, a Great Dane mix that had bitten a delivery man and a husky mix that had killed a cat. He said she euthanized the dogs by injecting them with a solution called SomnaSol, commonly used to put down animals.

But the judge ruled that starting the euthanasia process for one of the dogs in the presence of the 10-year-old girl was "egregious."

Separately, he ruled there was insufficient evidence Kanciper knew that a horse was being put down at the Manorville farm when she sent a 12-year-old girl to the area where it was happening.

The girls were students who took horseback lessons at the farm, which bills itself as a horse rescue facility.

Kanciper, who has filed a $25 million lawsuit against the Suffolk County Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals, said she would appeal the conviction.

"It is a sad commentary about our criminal justice system that without any substantive investigation, the SCSPCA and the district attorney's office wasted the time and resources of the court and the people of Suffolk County," she said in a statement. "My reputation and that of my family and my business have been irreparably damaged by this experience."

A spokesman for the district attorney had no comment on Kanciper's statement. A telephone call from The Associated Press to the SPCA seeking comment was not immediately returned Thursday.