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Connecticut SPCA director accused of cruelty to animals

The director of the Society for the Protection of Cruelty to Animals of Connecticut has been charged with 62 counts of cruelty to animals stemming from a raid on a shelter under construction in which dozens of dogs were seized.

Frederick Acker, 60, of Bantam, was released Monday on $15,000 bond, the Republican-American newspaper reported on its website.

The charges stem from a raid Nov. 8 at the unfinished shelter on a farm near the town of Bethlehem. Bethlehem Animal Control Officer Judy Umstead said dogs were in filthy cages without food or water in the building, which Acker rented.

Acker was arrested Monday after a hearing in Litchfield Superior Court over the custody of the dogs seized in the raid. A hearing was set for Dec. 10, but the Republican-American reported that Acker was returning to court in Litchfield on Tuesday to continue the custody battle. 

Bethlehem town officials are seeking an injunction to keep the dogs, for payment of their care and feeding, and to prevent Acker from owning, possessing or controlling animals, the Republican-American reported.

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