‘This Is Inhumane and Unacceptable’: Tenants’ Texts Added to Custody Fight for Surviving Dogs on Butler Lane

Police on Saturday responded to a complaint of a landlord-tenant dispute at the Butler Lane home where the neglect of dogs, and subsequent deaths of three puppies, became part of a criminal investigation that led to felony criminal charges for a 48-year-old woman. The dispute at 151 Butler Lane involved parking and locks on the doors, according to New Canaan Police. Tenants at the “South of the Y” neighborhood home, whose testimony helped police secure an arrest warrant charging Catherine Palmer with three counts of cruelty to animals, also are central in an ongoing custody dispute for 12 seized dogs. 

A state Superior Court judge on Dec. 7 granted the town of New Canaan temporary custody of the dogs. The next hearing in the town’s petition for full legal custody is scheduled for Jan.

‘Palmer Became Very Agitated’: NCPD Incident Reports Detail Arrested Woman’s Response in Animal Cruelty Case

Authorities in removing 12 neglected dogs from a New Canaan home on a Tuesday morning last month found feces matted to some of the animals’ bodies, police records show. Some of the 10 puppies that local and state officials found in Catherine Palmer’s Butler Lane home on Nov. 17 appeared to be just a few days old, and the type of dry kibble made for newborns wasn’t available to them, according to New Canaan Police Department incident reports. 

There on a search-and-seizure warrant after a months-long investigation found that three puppies at the house had died, police found feces on the floor in the area of the kitchen where the animals were corralled, according to photographs submitted as part of a petition to transfer custody of the dogs to the town. Through a tenant in the home, Mark Harris, NCPD Animal Control Officer Allyson Halm spoke on the phone with Palmer while in the house. “I advised Palmer why we were in the house and that an arrest warrant had been issued for her relating to the deaths of three puppies,” Halm said in her incident report. 

“I further advised she should respond to the residence if she wanted to discuss the matter further.

Police: Another Puppy Died after Palmer Made Thanksgiving Weekend Drop-Offs to Buyers 

Police say that prior to turning herself in Sunday on an active arrest warrant following the deaths of three puppies at her New Canaan home, Catherine Palmer traveled throughout the region with a vehicle full of puppies, making deliveries to people who’d purchased them. One of those puppies died last weekend, according to police. Palmer, 48, is accused of operating an illegal pet store, neglecting dogs and denying them access to medical care. Following a months-long investigation, police on Nov. 12 obtained a state Superior Court judge’s signature on a warrant charging her with three counts of felony cruelty to animals.