Long Island – Last Thursday, the guys from Rescue Ink: Unleashed got a call about a disturbing case of animal cruelty. The cast, a bunch of big, schmexy, tattooed, biker types who strive to save stolen and abused animals, headed out to the home of 43-year-old Sharon McDonough. Upon discovery of five dogs in the home, crammed into cages, malnourished and neglected, the crew put in a call to the SPCA. Further investigation revealed that the five dogs inside the home were just the tip of the iceberg. The SPCA returned to Sharon’s home Saturday morning armed with a search warrant and some shovels – they wanted to start digging in her back yard. And dig they did, unearthing the remains of as many as 20 cats and dogs.
“It looked like a real murder scene, as if they were gonna pull out dead bodies out there,” neighbor Andrea Martinez said. “The smell was unbearable. They were taking bags out by the dozen. It was crazy.” According to the tipster, Sharon’s oldest son, 21-year-old Doug McDonough, his mother would “buy a new dog, treat it like it was the greatest dog in the world for a few days, then they would sit in the cage until she decided to kill them.” If that wasn’t heinous enough, it is believed she enlisted the help of one of her seven children to hold the animals while she tortured them. “It was a concentration camp for the animals,” Douglas McDonough said. “My sisters and me, we got the end of it, too.” Sharon’s children range in age from 18 months to 21 years.
Though authorities suspect that each of the dead animals belonged to Sharon, her neighbors aren’t so sure. Seems that more than just a couple of cats and dogs have disappeared – never to be seen again. Neighbor Sharyn Padula said three of her animals have gone missing in the past year. “If they find my pets, I want her to pay,” she said. Necropsies are planned on each of the corpses. Five dogs, one cat, a bird, and a hamster were removed from Sharon’s home, alive.
Neighbors say that Sharon has been a ‘little off’ since the death of her husband in an auto accident last year. Sounds like ‘little off’ is a huge understatement. Damn.
Charged with misdemeanor animal cruelty, Sharon McDonough was released without bail yesterday. If convicted on the animal cruelty charges, she faces up to a year in prison on each of the misdemeanor counts. If it is determined that Sharon intentionally killed the animals (ummm, DUH!), the charges could be raised to a felony and she would likely face more time.