Sharon McDonough, 42, was ordered held on $100k bail on Friday after prosecutors presented evidence that some of the 42 animals buried in her Selden, LI back yard were tortured. Assistant DA John Cortes, who says she’s likely to face felony charges, told the court that examination of the dead pets showed signs of mouths sealed with duct tape and drowning.
McDonough, who was found fit to stand trial in a court-ordered psychiatric evaluation earlier in the week, has been free without bail since early November, when the SPCA found 20 dead animals buried in her back yard. She was charged with misdemeanor animal cruelty against the six living pets in her home. A second search in December uncovered 22 more bodies.
McDonough’s oldest son, Douglas, who initially reported his mother to celebrity animal rescue group Rescue Ink, said at the time of the raid that she forced some of his six brothers and sisters, aged 13 to 18 months, to help her torture animals. The younger McDonough children have been removed from her custody by a family court judge. She hasn’t seen them since her arrest.
After the bodies were discovered, neighbors blamed McDonough for pets that went missing from the neighborhood, but both Cortes and the Suffolk County SPCA say it’s more likely that she bought them or adopted them from shelters.