Animal Shelter Owner's Sentence Stands, Other Charges Dismissed

A judge won't reconsider Dawn Hamill's sentence for her conviction connected to a 2011 raid of her Dazzle's Painted Pastures Animal Rescue and Sanctuary. Prosecutors also dropped other charges related to the raid.

A Cook County judge denied a motion Monday, Oct. 29 to reconsider the sentence of Dawn Hamill, the owner of local animal rescue who was convicted of eight misdemeanor counts of violation of owner's duties.

Hamill, 43, was charged with those misdemeanor counts, as well as two counts of animal cruelty, in connection to the condition of animals that were found during a on Dazzle's Painted Pastures Animal Rescue and Sanctuary in Tinley Park. Eight puppies were reportedly discovered in cold, filthy conditions, leading to her Sept. 14 conviction of the violation of owner's duties charges. The animal cruelty charges she was acquitted on were related to a miniature horse and Himalayan cat found dead on the property.

READ: Judge Won't Change Shelter Owner's Sentence Without Animals' Medical Records

Hamill's newly attained attorney Lawrence Beaumont filed the motion during an Oct. 18 hearing date, asking for Judge Anna Helen Demacopolous to reconsider her order that Hamill only be allowed to have five personal animals. Beaumont said without the amending of the order, those animals could be adopted out or destroyed by the Animal Welfare League, the agency that removed the animals from Hamill's shelter Oct. 3.

"We're on a timeline here," Beaumont told Demacopolous on Monday. "These are pets, not dogs being housed by the shelter."

At the Oct. 18 hearing, Demacopolous requested the medical records of the removed animals. On Monday, Beaumont also said he had medical records and statements from veterinarians on each of the five animals still in Hamill's care.

Demacopolous, however, was not swayed.

READ: Agency Removes Animals From Painted Pastures

"Having heard [the information], I stand by my decision at sentencing," she said. "If Miss Hamill thinks I abused my discretion … which I take no offense to at all, she is welcome to take it to the appellate court."

Following the judge's instructions from the last hearing, Beaumont also produced an affidavit of assets and liabilities to support Hamill's claims of being indigent.

Demacopolous said Hamill made a "declaration at trial that it shouldn't be held against her that she and husband are successful business owners."

Hamill's affidavit has not been made public, but Demacopolous referred to it by saying, "She gets $4,000 in monthly spousal support."

"She has liabilities," Beaumont said.


"That's not the way it works, counsel," the judge answered. "If she [is living] above her means, that doesn't make her indigent."

Demacopolous denied Beaumont's request for a transcript of Hamill's four-day trial; the 30-day window to appeal the verdict and request a new trial has passed. However, Hamill still has time to appeal Demacopolous' sentence.

Pending cases dismissed

Charges in two other pending cases related to the 2011 raid were dismissed at the hearing. Those charges, also misdemeanors, were labeled in court records as "animal welfare" and "animal control" but did not include details.

An assistant state's attorney who was standing in for Richard Stake Jr. said prosecutors decided to drop those charges after a discussion with a supervisor.

Beaumont had no comment after Monday's hearing. Hamill is scheduled to be back before Demacopolous on Dec. 7.

Check Out the Painted Pastures Section for Complete Coverage of the Raid and Court Proceedings.


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Morgan Jones October 30, 2012 at 01:59 AM
So what about the November 8th date to get the results from the psych evaluation and has Bhatt officially removed himself? ....anybody
GiveItUp October 30, 2012 at 03:12 AM
Where is the accountability of where all the animals went? She had approximately 70 animals on Oct. 18th and only twenty something removed by AWL. There has been no mention of the wolves or what sanctuary they were transferred to. People are losing their homes and working more than one job and she considers herself indigent collecting 4K a month? Why were the vet records not provided to the Judge today, for the animals she would like returned? Do they not exist? Many unanswered questions, many which will not be answered with the dismissal of her other charges.
voklst October 30, 2012 at 01:10 PM
I'm coming here late.... Who's Beaumont? What court 'settlement' issues 4G a month In spousal here in Illinois and what does That guy do for a living??? And that is not for any child support...That guy may want to go back to court for that???? Very odd!
Emily October 30, 2012 at 02:53 PM
I think this may be the first time the words Indigent and Successful Business Owner was used in the same sentence to describe the same person.
horselover October 30, 2012 at 05:35 PM
I love this Judge she is awesome, but why drop other charges? can't get greedy I guess. Her poor ex-husband having to pay her $4,000.00 a month, really? that is insane. I heard she may have property in Indiana don't know how true it is but maybe that is where all her horses disappeared to.


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