WOLCOTT -- A four-month-long investigation into an animal shelter leads to an arrest.
Wolcott police said seven sick dogs were sold to families, four of which died shortly after adoption. They said their deaths were an outcome that could have been avoided.
"Had they been brought to a vet right away we wouldn’t even be sitting here," said Wolcott Chief of Police Edward Stephens.
A simple conclusion to a lengthy investigation into the Tails of Courage animal shelter in Wolcott.
Krystal Lopez turned herself into Wolcott Police Friday Morning. She was charged with seven counts of animal cruelty, three counts of practicing veterinary medicine without a license, 21 counts of invalid health certificates, 27 counts of failure to provide vet care within 48 hours of an animal entry into the state, and one count of possession of vaccines and serums.
"Even if she didn’t intend for anything to happen to the dogs, it did. They’re in her care," said Stephens.
Wolcott police were notified about Tails of Courage on July 10th. A family reported having adopted a puppy that passed away the following day. They told police the dog wasn’t the same after picking him up as when they first met him.
Wolcott police were notified of six other families who adopted sick dogs from the shelter. Four of the seven dogs would pass away from the dangerous and highly contagious parvovirus. The other three were nursed back to health.
"When a dog comes into the state they have to be examined by a vet. We found false certificates stating that they had been," said Stephens.
Tails of Courage was shut down in July. The business was operating before being officially licensed by the town.
The shelter has had issues in the past. It moved to Wolcott from Danbury. In April of 2018, Lopez was arrested on animal cruelty charges for allegedly leaving dogs out in the cold and in awful conditions.
"It was just very unclean a lot of rust a lot of broken crates," said former employee Larisa Chetcuti.
"I saw a lot of sick animals," said former employee Melanie Dzamko. "A lot of animals that could've survived, could've had better care, could have better homes but instead, they were refused treatment and they stayed at the shelter and died there."
Lopez’s lawyer tells FOX61 that his client loves animals and was just trying to do the right thing.
"She’s maintaining her innocence. She’s done nothing wrong. We’re confident that as it plays out and as the facts come out she will be vindicated," said Ioannis Kaloidis.
Kaloidis is asking for the public to avoid rushing to judgment and allow for all the facts to surface.
Lopez was released on $5,000 bond.