WATERBURY -- The former manager of an animal rescue organization appeared in court Tuesday to answer charges of animal abuse.
Krystal Lopez was arraigned in Waterbury Superior Court. In the courtroom with her were animal advocates, one of whom had purchased a dog from her organization. That dog lived just 12 days after it was brought home.
“ I rescued a dog this dog Spike 12 years ago from Tails of Courage. He lived 12 days, Parvo [virus], the same story that all the others have shared, is my story,” said Peggy Miller of Branford.
Krystal Lopez is a former manager of Tails of Courage, a dog adoption agency that claimed to rescue dogs and help them find forever homes. After a lengthy investigation by Wolcott Police, they discovered the organization was selling sick dogs. During their investigation, seven of those dogs were found to be sick, Four of them died, three of them were nursed back to health.
"Had they been brought to a vet right away, we wouldn’t even be sitting here,” said Edward Stephens, Chief of the Wolcott Police.
According to one of their former clients, this organization has been operating in several towns for several years, selling sick puppies.
“It was the worst experience for my children, for myself, and I never forgot about it. Through a post I saw from this organization, Desmond’s Army, I learned that they were still in business and I am furious," said Miller.
Lopez turned herself into police. She’s now facing several charges including seven accounts of animal cruelty, and 27 counts of failure to provide vet care within 48 hours of animal entry.
In the courtroom today her lawyer motioned for an animal advocate not to be placed on this case.
“We believe that the appointment of an animal advocate could interfere with my clients due process rights. She’s done nothing wrong, she cared for these animals, a lot of these animals saw event the day before they were adopted,” said Ioannis Kaloidis, Krystal’s Lawyer.
This is not the first time Lopez has faced animal cruelty charges, she was arrested in 2018 for allegedly leaving an animal out in the cold in bad conditions.
Tails of Courage was shut down in July.
Lopez is scheduled to be back in court on December 17.