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Shocking conditions at suburban animal shelter -130 animals seized

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The owner of a Tinley Park animal sanctuary faces cruelty and neglect charges after Cook County Sheriff's police descended on the shelter last night and removed 130 animals, including rabbits, horses, llamas, cats and dogs in various stages of ill health. Other animals were found dead on the property.

Dawn Hamill, 41, is charged with eight counts of neglect of owner's duties and two counts of cruel treatment of animals.

Investigators received reports of unhealthy conditions at Hamill's Dazzle Painted Pasture Animal Rescue and Sanctuary on the 5500 block of W. 175th Street earlier in the week, according to a Sheriff's Department press release. They secured a warrant to search the property yesterday.

Once on the property, investigators say they found dogs and cats in assorted trailers, barns and sheds without heat, food or water. Many of the dogs had skin conditions and the cats had respiratory problems as well as eye and ear infections.

A dead miniature horse and Himalayan cat were found in a barn.

In all, authorities seized 63 dogs, 31 cats, six rabbits and 30 larger animals including horses, ponies, sheep goats and llamas.

The Dazzled Painted Pasture website says it opened in 2006 as a no-kill animal shelter and sanctuary. Its stated mission is to "rescue, provide care and rehabilitate neglected, abandoned or unwanted companion, farm and exotic animals."

The website also makes a plea for donations because the sanctuary did not have any more room for new animals on the three acres of leased land in Tinley.

The domesticated animals rescued from the shelter have been taken to the Animal Welfare League in Chicago Ridge, which has a long-standing working relationship with the Cook County Sheriff's Animal Crimes Unit.

The larger farm and exotic animals are heading to various shelters and stables across the country, according to authorities.

The Sheriff's department released evidence photos of conditions at the sanctuary. Warning - these are graphic images of dead and sick animals.

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