A kennel operator from Beacon Falls who faces animal cruelty charges will have to face the legal consequences as a judge denied his request for accelerated rehabilitation.
George Meder, a 70-year-old man, has been charged with two misdemeanor counts of animal cruelty. He is the operator of Beacon Paws, which is owned by his wife.
According to an investigative report by the I-Team, the kennel has had a history of five dogs being injured or even losing their lives since its establishment in 2012.
On January 6th, 2023, a dog named Arty, short for Artemis, tragically passed away while at the kennel due to an attack by another dog. This incident has led to an animal cruelty charge being filed in relation to Arty’s death.
According to Arty’s owner, Cindy Peterson, the tragic loss of their beloved dog still brings them to tears. “We did a lot of crying that day. We still cry when we think of our boy and how he left us,” she shared, adding that the thought of Arty dying alone, scared, and without his family is unbearable.
During the court hearing on Thursday, Peterson delivered a poignant impact statement while Meder applied for accelerated rehabilitation (AR). The AR program would enable Meder to have a clean record provided he doesn’t commit any other crime.
Meder is currently facing an additional charge of animal cruelty. Following the I-team’s initial report, a different dog owner came forward to report that their dog had been injured by another dog while at the kennel and had not received adequate care.
During court proceedings, Meder and his attorney did not refute the accusations. They contended that given Meder’s clean criminal record and the absence of any malicious intent, he should qualify for the AR program.
According to David Grudberg, Meder’s attorney, even good people can make terrible mistakes.
During the court proceedings, Meder expressed remorse and offered his heartfelt apologies to the victim’s family.
Meder admitted, “I did things very wrong, that’s an understatement, I get it.”
According to the latest developments, Meder and his lawyer proposed a deal to shut down the business within 90 days if the AR program is approved.
Meder expressed his desire to move away from the industry, stating “I don’t want to stay in the business anymore.”
According to the judge, the charges brought against the defendant are too grave to be handled by the AR program. The judge took into account the numerous investigations and animal cruelty warnings that were issued prior to the tragic death of Arty. The case will proceed as scheduled, and the defendant will appear in court on October 10.
According to Arty’s family, the ruling was a reason to rejoice.
According to Peterson, “Arty has finally received the justice he deserved. Though we understand that nothing can bring him back, we were able to speak for him today and ensure that his voice was heard.”
According to the charges, Meder could potentially face a maximum sentence of 2 years in prison if he is found guilty.
When questioned by the I-Team after the hearing, Meder declined to comment on whether or not he still intends to shut down Beacon Paws. As of September 15th, the establishment was still operating.
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