A woman has been brought to justice after allegedly abusing scores of animals in Gowanus.
Dorota Trec, 36, was convicted yesterday of 100 counts of animal cruelty; each count representing one of the almost 200 rabbits she kept in outdoor wooden cages In Gowanus, The New York Times reported. Trec, who returns to court in January, will pay fines and could spend as much as two years in jail.
Trec has reportedly kept rabbits in the basement of a tire store on 3rd Avenue near 9th Street — and in a lot next door — since 2012.
After complaints from the public about the treatment of the rabbits, the NYPD and the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA) seized 176 rabbits from Trec in January 2015, The TImes said. The rabbits were found to have serious wounds, including to their genital and anal areas, and illnesses like syphilis.
Trec was eventually charged by Brooklyn prosecutors with 125 counts of animal cruelty. On Monday, a jury in Brooklyn Criminal Court acquitted her on 25 of the counts, The Times noted. Trec, who represented herself, maintained that the animals were injured when they were seized in 2015. One witness at the trial reportedly described the recovery of the animals as “violent.”
After the rabbits were taken last year, Trec acquired approximately 90 new rabbits, which will also be seized by authorities. According to DNAInfo, this second group of rabbits was left outside in sub-zero wind chill temperatures in February, 2016.
Trec told DNAinfo in February that her animals were “very happy” and “love the snow.” She described people who complained about the conditions of the animals as “ignorant,” insisting that they were healthy.
The Times says that Trec, a music teacher originally from Poland, will be allowed to help find a new home for the second group of rabbits as she awaits sentencing. Trec has reportedly filed a $2.8 billion civil suit “alleging that her rabbits were wrongfully seized.”
Animal rights advocates hope that Trec’s days with animals are over forever.
According to the Daily News, when Trec appeared at a 2015 hearing, a judge “reserved a ruling to ban her from owning any more animals after a conviction.”