Remains found in animal hoarding case to be buried at shelter

July 29, 2013|By Arthur Hirsch, The Baltimore Sun

The cremated remains of 240 dogs recovered in an animal hoarding case in Montgomery County four years ago will be buried in a brief ceremony Tuesday at the pet cemetery at the Baltimore Humane Society in Reisterstown.

Shelley Janashek, a volunteer for a dog rescue group who was a witness in the case, asked the society for the burial.

"I didn't want them to be trash," said Janashek. "I don't have the money to bury this volume of animals."

Wendy Goldband, a spokeswoman for the society, said as far as anyone knows this is the first time the 86-year-old organization has conducted a burial for remains found under these circumstances.

"I don't know that we've ever been asked before," Goldband said. "We feel the animals deserve a peaceful resting place after the lives they had. We're able to do that for them."

Janashek said she found the remains in 240 plastic and wooden containers, each labeled with the dogs' name, in September 2009 in the Rockville home of Judy Cahill. Working with county animal control officers, Janashek went to the home after Cahill had been evicted. Janashek said six sets of decomposed dog remains wrapped in plastic were found, as well as "wall-to-wall dog crates," trash and floors caked with animal waste.

According to court records, in November 2009 Cahill was found guilty in a civil citation for failure to provide proper care and keeping dogs in unsanitary conditions. The Montgomery Gazette reported that a District Court judge ordered her not to have an animal for 10 years, an order that is enforceable only in Maryland.

The remains will be buried in one grave in a brief ceremony conducted by Andrew Mazan, director of the Nicodemus Memorial Park, a 3.5-acre cemetery where some 9,000 animals are buried next to the society shelter.

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