STAMFORD, Connecticut––Former Stamford Animal Shelter manager Laurie Hollywood, 42, of Newtown, Connecticut, on June 20, 2014 voluntarily surrendered to the Stamford police department in response to a warrant issued for her arrest on three counts of reckless endangerment.
Hollywood was released on her own recognizance. Arraignment was scheduled for July 7, 2014 in Stamford State Superior Court.
Hollywood appears to be the first U.S. shelter director to face criminal charges in connection with rehoming dangerous dogs.
Reported John Nickerson of the Stamford Advocate, “According to a news release from Stamford police, the arrest was made after complaints were made of improprieties at the Stamford Animal Control Center. An Internal Affairs investigation of the complaints found that state laws had been violated that put the public in danger.”
Hired in March 2005, Hollywood was suspended on May 2, 2014, and fired on June 17, 2014, after a seven-week police investigation of allegations that she had recently adopted out three dogs without disclosing their prior bite history, who went on to bite other people. One victim required hospital treatment.
The Connecticut State Bureau of Regulation & Inspection had warned Hollywood against rehoming dangerous dogs in 2008 and 2011.
ANIMALS 24-7 editor Merritt Clifton has logged fatal and disfiguring dog attacks since 1982. Only four attacks of that level of severity involved shelter dogs between 1982 and 2002, resulting in two human deaths, but another four occurred in 2003 alone, also resulting in two human deaths.
The number of fatal or disfiguring attacks involving U.S. shelter dogs rose to 10 in a year for the first time in 2009, soared to 18 in 2010, leveled off at 11 in 2011 and 13 in 2012, then shot up to 27 in 2013––and 34 in just the first half of 2014.
Thirty-five shelter dogs, including 24 pit bulls, seven bull mastiffs, a Lab who might have been part pit, two Rottweilers, and a husky, have participated in killing people since 2010.
(See also “Stamford fires shelter manager for rehoming dangerous dogs, http://wp.me/p4pKmM-yJ; “Connecticut shelter investigated for allegedly adopting out dangerous dogs,” http://wp.me/p4pKmM-v1; “Fitchburg becomes third public shelter to suspend operations due to liability concerns about pit bulls,” http://wp.me/p4pKmM-y1; and “Roswell resumes releases of dogs to rescue groups following 3-day suspension after pit bull attack,” http://wp.me/p4pKmM-xd.)