MANORVILLE, NY (CBS 2/ WCBS 880) – A woman who was supposed to rescue unwanted animals is accused of euthanizing dogs without a veterinarian’s license in a shocking cruelty case on Long Island.

The allegations of what happened behind the manicured fences of the horse farm in Manorville are disturbing, reports CBS 2’s Scott Rapoport.

“It’s heartbreaking. It’s terrible,” a neighbor said.

LISTEN: WCBS 880’s Sophia Hall reports from Long Island

Mona Kanciper, 48, runs the New York Horse Rescue Farm in Manorville, which takes in unwanted horses. Now, she’s been accused of euthanizing three dogs without a license to practice veterinary medicine, and she faces three felony charges of animal cruelty.

“I just can’t understand why anybody would do anything like this,” said Suffolk County SPCA Chief Roy Gross.

Suffolk County SPCA officials say Kanciper is also charged with allegedly choking a dog after incorrectly trying to perform euthanasia, which investigators say led to the dog’s death.

“When the dog was not dying, and apparently suffering from not dying from the drugs she was illegally administering, she actually began choking the dog,” said Chief Gross said.

Gross said Kanciper has also been charged with two counts of endangering the welfare of a child for allegedly euthanizing the dogs in front of minors.

Neighbors in the area are shocked.

“Really? I had no idea. Really?” one neighbor said.

Back at the farm, workers said Kanciper was out of town, and they had no comment.

Kanciper was arraigned Wednesday. She pleaded not guilty to the charges, and was released without bail.

She released the following statement on Thursday:

“I am innocent and will be relentless in my fight to protect both my family and my reputation…I am confident that once all the facts come out, I will be completely vindicated.”

Kanciper is due back in court on September 30.

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