EagleTribune.com, North Andover, MA

February 1, 2008

Owner charged in cruelty fights to keep dog

By Margo Sullivan

PELHAM — It looks like a judge will decide what will happen to Destiny, a mixed-breed dog seized after police said he was repeatedly left outside in the cold overnight.

The dog's owner, Elizabeth Janvrin, 37, of Nashua, pleaded not guilty in Salem District Court on Monday to one charge of animal cruelty, a misdemeanor. Neither Janvrin nor her lawyer, Katherine Morneau, could be reached for comment.

According to court documents, Destiny was seized by police earlier this month after they received complaints that the dog was being kept outside in single digit temperatures, tied to a tree near a doghouse at 11 Windham Road, where some of Janvrin's relatives live.

The dog is being kept at the Pelham Animal Hospital.

Animal Control Officer Allison Downing said yesterday that Janvrin is fighting to keep the animal. She previously refused to give police permission to find a new home for the dog. Police are still talking with her about how to resolve the dispute.

"Right now, it looks like we're going to trial," Downing said.

Police first received a call about Destiny on Dec. 1 from a neighbor who complained the dog was skinny, appeared to have eye infections and could not reach its food or water. Downing investigated and later spoke with Janvrin, who said Destiny was an outdoor dog and did not like to be inside. Moreover, Janvrin could not take Destiny to live with her in Nashua.

Over the next month, Downing continued to receive complaints. She returned on Dec. 7 after a snowstorm and again on Jan. 3 when the temperature was 5 degrees.

The resident, Evelyn Janvrin, said she tried to take the dog inside during the December snowstorm, but Destiny caused damage and jumped on her elderly mother.

She surrendered Destiny to Downing at the January visit so the dog could receive better care.

However, when Elizabeth Janvrin learned Destiny was in a shelter, she said the dog should go back to 11 Windham Road. She also offered to provide better care for Destiny, if police would give the dog back. But police said that's unlikely, based on Janvrin's past behavior.

Janvrin's trial is set for March. If she is found guilty, it would be up to a judge to determine where Destiny will wind up.

Meanwhile, Pelham Animal Shelter volunteers took the dog to a veterinarian yesterday because Destiny is underweight. The dog's ribs are visible, and the volunteers suspect a medical problem.

People who want to help can make a donation to the Animal Rescue Network of New England, Downing said. The shelter also needs clean blankets, which can be dropped off at the police station, she said.

How to help

Send donations to Animal Rescue Network of New England, P.O. Box 1053, Pelham, NH 03076 or contribute online at www.arnne.org. The shelter also has ongoing need for clean blankets. Call the animal control officer at 635-2411 to arrange to drop off the blankets at the police station or at the shelter.

Although Destiny is not up for adoption, the shelter has several dogs who do need homes, including a collie-mix, which would be a good companion for an older person.