L.I. Mom Accused In Pet Torture Case Pleads Guilty

RIVERHEAD, N.Y. (1010 WINS/AP) — A woman tearfully admitted Thursday that she abused her children and dozens of pets, sometimes torturing dogs and cats to death in the presence of six young daughters in a home that her son described as “a concentration camp for the animals.”

Sharon McDonough, 44, pleaded guilty to a 13-count indictment charging her with animal abuse and child endangerment.

Suffolk County Court Judge C. Randall Hinrichs said he would sentence McDonough on March 28 to a two-year maximum term. McDonough has been held on $100,000 bail since her arrest in December 2009; the time she has served will count toward her sentence and she is expected to be freed in April or May.

Court-appointed defense attorney Christopher Brocato said McDonough pleaded guilty to all the charges to save her children from having to testify at her trial. “She knows there’s no excuse,” Brocato said. “I can’t imagine she’s not going to be a welcome sight in the community when she gets out.”

1010 WINS’ Mona Rivera talks with the McDonough’s lawyer who says he’s received a lot of hate mail directed at her

Of McDonough’s possible explanation for her actions or her mental state, Brocato said: “She’s had some issues in her life. I’m not a psychiatrist, but she’s tormented by what happened and is willing to take the blame.”

He noted that McDonough’s husband was killed in a car accident in 2008. He added that his office and prosecutors collectively have received about 200 “hate mail” messages condemning McDonough’s actions.

No members of her family, including her six daughters, attended the hearing. The girls, all younger than 13 when McDonough was arrested, are in the custody of Family Court; prosecutors said they are prevented by law from discussing their current status.

Assistant District Attorney John Cortes said he will ask the judge to issue an order of protection when she is sentenced, requiring McDonough to not contact the children after her release.

McDonough killed numerous kittens and dogs, stashing the dead cats in the trash, and burying 42 dead dogs in the backyard of her home in Selden, prosecutors said. The dogs were buried because some had identifying microchips implanted in them and McDonough feared being discovered if the carcasses were found in the trash, they said.

The children were not only abused, but were forced to witness the deaths of family pets. They lived amid filthy conditions from the animals who were kept in wretched cages that were filled with urine and feces, the prosecutor said.

She admitted in one instance to placing duct tape over the mouth of a cat and hanging it from the ladder of one her daughter’s bunk beds until it died.

The children were barred from using a bathroom in the home and were forced to defecate and urinate in buckets, McDonough admitted in court Thursday. She also said the children were not allowed to take showers and cleaned themselves with cloth wipes.

Prosecutors said they were alerted to the conditions at the home by McDonough’s adult son, Douglas, who had moved out.

He told authorities the children were forced to subsist on peanut butter-and-jelly sandwiches and macaroni and cheese. At one point, he brought his sisters frozen TV dinners but later learned that his mother had confiscated the food.

He described the home as “a concentration camp for the animals.”

McDonough faces two years on the animal cruelty charges, but only a one-year term for the child endangerment offenses because they are misdemeanors, prosecutors said.

“For the past five years we have urged state lawmakers to approve legislation that would make child endangerment a felony,” Suffolk County District Attorney Thomas Spota said in a statement.

“She repeatedly terrified her six daughters by torturing and killing animals in their presence and that crime should be a felony punishable by imprisonment in an upstate correctional facility.”

(Copyright 2011 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

Comments

One Comment

  1. Carrie says:

    She does not deserve any sympathy. Her sentence should be much longer. Her killing of inoccent life there is no excuse!! I hope she does not have one minute of pleasure in her life and she deserves never to see her children again.
    I feel sick that there are “people” like this that roam free allowing to abuse everything in its pass. Hope she knows the same horror that she put others through. A mind so twisted like this should never see the light of day again…lock her up and foget to feed her.

  2. sara says:

    If children, cats and dogs cannot bring joy to one’s life, that soul is doomed. So sad that she was allowed to torture any living creature–and that 2 years is all that she’s getting for it. Let’s hope the women in prison with her give her a taste of her own medicine…

  3. denise says:

    this woman needs to be put in an asylum for the criminally insane and left there,
    she is so far gone it would take the rest of her life time to straighten her out.

    1. terri45 says:

      What is even more disturbing is that chilren learn by example. Sons of wife abusers many times grow up to abuse their own wives. It is what they know. These children will need lots of theraphy and education.

    2. laura says:

      sounds about right

  4. Cassandra says:

    Any person who can behave so cruely does not deserve anyones pity, and definately does not deserve her children or any other pets!

    1. Mario says:

      Sounds as if she would steal other people’s pets as well. Many of the dogs where buried because they were microchipped. Crazy people steal pets and human children. It is not just material things. I am horrified with this story.

  5. Andrea Van Holt says:

    Why do atheist attack at the mention of God? God did not bring evil and suffering into the world. There are two forces..Good and Evil. This is an evil act. If you don’t believe, why not just stick to the topic and not lash out at people who have faith. Its stupid. This woman is sick. She should never be allowed out of prison. Killing and torturing ANY living being should hold the same sentence. To me, its the same crime..

    1. Em says:

      Most death and torture is done by those not educated -most non education comes from religions brianwashing suseptible minds into only learning one book. This was worse before the public education system. Athiests recognize stupidity everywhere and often religion.magical thinking is involved.

  6. T says:

    TWO YEARS… COME ON… not enough….

  7. stacey says:

    This woman deserves A LOT more jail time than 2 years. She doesn’t deserve to EVER get her children bak let alone see them.. I also hope she NEVER is allowed to have a pet again. She’s a monster and desperately needs therapy.

  8. Davina says:

    As a survivor of years of child abuse myself, I am appalled that she is only going to prison for two years. Seriously??? My father got life! What is wrong with the justice system where she lives?? Perhaps she is genuinely ill and repentant, but I still feel that the sentence is far to lenient.

  9. Lisa says:

    “She confessed to SAVE her children from having to testify”. NOW ALL OF A SUDDEN THIS SKANK CARES ABOUT HER CHILDREN????? SHE DIDN’T WANT HER KIDS TO GIVE THE DETAILS BECAUSE IT WOULD HURT HER, IS MORE LIKE IT!!!! TWO YEARS MAXIMUM IS A JOKE!!!!

  10. CMC says:

    How can this woman only have to serve 2 years?!

  11. Amy says:

    May GOD have mercy on your soul…you evil devilish woman.. you will reap what you have done..and i hope to the fullest degree. you have ruined the lives of 6 young girls…who will never live normal lives because of your filthy ways..ugh digusted

    1. John Spencer says:

      I’m not defending this woman, by any means, but tell me something….

      how do you know those girls will never live normal lives?? You appear to believe in God, but are failing to recognize what that MEANS. God can heal them!! You don’t know their personalities… perhaps they are stronger than you know… and with time, and the Lord, I believe those girls WILL indeed live normal lives now that they are given the chance.

      1. Lisa says:

        God can heal them????? WHERE WAS GOD WHEN THEY WERE LIVING IN THIS HELL???????? WHERE WAS GOD THEN????????????

      2. Christie says:

        Believe you believe in the tooth fairy and Easter Bunny too.

  12. Louise says:

    Take her out and shoot her.

  13. H says:

    I have no mercy for this woman and she deserves to a more heavy sentence the three years total.

  14. Sickened says:

    Since her kids will need therapy for several years, if not the rest of their lives, the state should hold a sale to throw stones at her in a public forum. $1000 a rock. Where do I sign up?

    1. Donna LaSala Struck says:

      Sign me up….there’s a long line behind me….how did this go on so long w/o notice?

    2. Alex says:

      I’d clean out my savings account to hurl some big rocks at this sorry excuse for a human.

  15. B says:

    So does that mean I can go out, kill someone and blame it on my monthly, since mostly then I am acting crazy? This is crazy!!!!

    There needs to be a harscher punishment!

  16. Gina says:

    After reading the comments, I can’t believe how a few people actually felt sorry for this piece of trash! The ones I feel sorry for are her poor children! If she couldn’t handle the stresses of being a parent then she shouldn’t have had 6 kids! Hard to believe none of her family or the neighbors didn’t notice what was going on in that house of horrors. I feel so very sad for the family pets that McDonough tortured and killed in front of her girls. Why waste taxpayer dollars on a lunatic like her. This isn’t her first offense so obviously she hasn’t and won’t learn her lesson. I am a firm believer in the dealth penality. Maybe then our getting sicker by the day society will finally see that this kind of behavior isn’t going to be tolerated.

    1. Sam says:

      Agreed! I can’t fathom having sympathy for this woman. I try to not judge others, and be empathetic, even when it’s hard. But hanging a kitten over her child’s bed until it died??? A person who does that forfeits her right to sympathy.

    2. Marie says:

      hear hear!!! i second that motion!

  17. moe says:

    just another piece of human garbage. too bad we now have to pay for this evil weirdos incarceration. and the kids. like they will ever be normal. this woman is not sick, she is evil. she should be drawn and quartered. or throw her ass into the desert and let the coyotes have her. i can’t imagine anyone doing this. she feels no remorse. she’s incapable of any kind of empathy. maybe we’ll get lucky and she won’t make it out of prison.

    1. Marie says:

      couldn’t have said it better!

    2. Mary says:

      Exactly,what I was thinking! If,we are lucky,we can only hope!!!

  18. Lauren EG says:

    someone should string her up and hang her from a ladder.

    2 years. it’s unbelievable that there aren’t stricter laws against this atrocious abuse and disregard for human life.

    1. Jacki says:

      I agree. See how she likes it. Agree with the sentencing comment as well.

  19. Susan says:

    She is damaged beyond belief. She should be put away for a very long time. I hope she does not get custody of her kids nor should she ever be near cats or dogs. She Is disgusting..evil

  20. Anonymous says:

    I didn’t feel bad for this woman until I read the comments. Hateful people.

    1. T Lynn Jones says:

      of course, she’s blaming it on her “mental condition.” take the easy way out.

    2. Dawn Philippi says:

      I agree. It’s easy to point the finger at someone in the spotlight. The people making these comments are also guilty of things they think they can justify because at least they are “not as bad as her”. The people calling out for her blood all sin too. Lying, cheating, murdering, coveting, greed, hate. It’s all the same. If you steal from your boss or cheat on your spouse you are in the same boat as this woman. Jesus Christ teaches us that sin is sin and the penalty for all of us is DEATH. But He paid the cost and forgives us freely is we choose to accept it.

      1. Sam says:

        You are disrespecting those poor children by comparing what they went through to coveting something someone else has. That is NOT the same thing. Of course it is wrong to covet, or to steal, or lie. But torturing children is worse, and if you can’t see that, you’re missing something.
        I’m not calling for this woman’s blood. But I genuinely believe that she is a menace to society, and it’s frightening that she will be out on the streets so soon.

    3. Nikki says:

      you are an idiot to feel any type of pitty for that clearly disturbed women! However none of our opinions matter. She will meet her maker one day and pay for her crimes..

  21. jUDY says:

    What a piece of filthy TRASH!!! I believe an eye for an eye…God will take care of her!!!

  22. Daniella Insalaco says:

    Put her in an electric chair. She doesn’t deserve to live.

  23. Allison Marie Pellerin says:

    Wow after looking at these comments i feel bad for her…..

    1. Fawn Pearl says:

      you feel bad for HER !!! are you sierous !!

    2. Mmmkay says:

      Yeah, me too. Hitler too! People always say mean things about him! Poor guy. Him and Charles Manson. Oh, and who’s that other guy? Oh yeah! Osama Bin Laden. He seems kinda neat and catty people are just always running their mouth about him.

      1. batbara glaberman says:

        You’ve put this in the right perspective.. Anyone who commits any act of cruely does not deserve pity or forgiveness from anyone.

      2. Carrie says:

        I agree with you MmmKay are these people for real!! After the comments they feel sorry for her????…that makes zero sense. I guess these same people feel sorry for the devil also!! I This women is about as evil as they come!! Do not waste your pity she is not wired right and void of any human feelings! Feel sorry for all the wreckage that she left in her path. I think some people who make comments that they feel sorry for her would feel different if they had this devil touch there lives!

    3. Lori says:

      How in the heck can you feel sorry for HER????????

    4. Toni says:

      R U seriously kidding me???

  24. Eva Space says:

    EVIL

  25. Mark Cain says:

    Did any of these kids have even one father that visited who might have reported her sooner? Didn’t neighbors wonder why she planted things all the time but nothing ever grew? People have to quit looking the other way and get involved.

    1. John Spencer says:

      Read the article. Her husband died in 2008. I LOVE how you just assume that because she has six kids she must have multiple baby daddys.

      What this woman did is INEXCUSABLE, there is no doubt. The child abuse and neglect disturbs me to no end. Her sentance is far to light. Someone in the prosecutors office did not do their job correctly here.

      However, the ignorant and judgmental comments I am reading here are equally as disturbing. Assumptions and calling for someone else’s death. wow… AMAZING, It makes me ashamed of human-kind. You all are no better than her. Justify it all you want… in the end, you should be completely ashamed of yourselves for the horrid things you say and snooty assumptions you make.

      For all you “eye for an eye” commenters… just remember… God humbles the ignorant. You, too will be humbled. Karma is a funny thing.

      An eye for an eye makes the world go blind.

      Fools.

      1. Christie says:

        You must be VERY humble.

  26. Ms Trish says:

    She should be put away forever, better yet, executed. She is a psychopath & does not deserve to be able to roam the streets with the rest of us, not knowing who/what she will prey on next.
    I hope her kids are in a safe place now & getting the help they will obviously need.

  27. bob edwards says:

    Those people make me sick! What’s the world coming to!

  28. donna says:

    That is jus digusting I hope they do the same thing to her she needs to rot in HELL!!

  29. Maddie says:

    COULD NOT GET THIS STORY OUT OF MY HEAD AFTER READING IT- TOO HORRIBLE TO IMAGINE IT IS INDEED REAL.

    I HOPE SHE MEETS HER END IN PRISON, AS BRUTALLY AS SHE DISHED IT OUT TO THOSE POOR, HELPLESS INNOCENT CREATURES.

    SEND HER STRAIGHT TO HELL.

  30. brenda says:

    couldn’t sleep after reading this story…there is no place in society for a person this cruet…. get those kids therapy and put her away , no mercy…

  31. luscious jasmine says:

    she’s got those crazy eyes – manson lamps!

    1. Carrie says:

      Shark eyes!!

  32. Cassandra says:

    RIGHTON MARIE!

  33. Abigail says:

    Only 2 years???? My god, that in itself is criminal! What an evil creature. Someone like that should never see freedom again.

    1. Gossamer1 says:

      Hopefully, it’s two years in a cell with only PBJs, Mac & Cheese, cloth wipes and a bucket.

      1. Delores Stell says:

        I like that one!

  34. Gary says:

    Torture her to death but please let it be shown on the internet and tv, Make it last at leat a week and i will gladly make a donation to charity.

  35. Evs says:

    What a lunatic. Disgusting. Revolting. She should be hung herself.

  36. Kari says:

    Those poor kids

  37. samantha says:

    she is a sociopath

  38. Janet Petronella says:

    that turdhead,gimme this brainless ass and ill take care of her,no trial please—FIREING SQUAD!

  39. Insanity says:

    If this were the premise of a horror movie it would NEVER get made. I hope her kids can get their heads fixed.

  40. Mari says:

    Can I flip the switch?

  41. Lisa says:

    This woman needs to be put away.

  42. Lovebringer Ortiz says:

    Just two years? That’s it? Come on now.

  43. Kim says:

    draw and quarter her.

    piece of garbage

    death is too good for her

  44. Barbara says:

    Throw her in a cage with cat food, litterbox and a bone and throw away the key.

    1. Deborah says:

      No food, no water, no litterbox.

  45. The Lord says:

    She needs to be put to sleep in a painful way akin to her own methods.

  46. dottie says:

    True…it seems that moms cannot hack it sometimes…people snap, it is a sin that the kids are the brunt of it…my question is…didn’t anyone notice something was going on? I think witch burning may be too lenient for her. People were burned at the stake for less….and since we are moving backwards in the world and not forwards…go ahead and lite a match.

  47. ANALTIMETWISTER says:

    IT SEEMS THAT OLD CROCK SAYING..SUGAR AND SPICE IS NICE..THE FEMALES OF LATE HAVE ALL GONE LILO…ONE PUTS HER BABY IN A DRYER,ANOTHER FALLS DRUNK ON HER CHILD AND SUFFOCATES IT,ANOTHER SHOOTS BOTH CHILDREN FOR BEING MOUTHY..ETC..THEN THERE ARE THOSE SEXED CRAZED TEACHERS…NEED I SAY MORE? IS THERE SOMETHING MORE THAN FLUORIDE IN THE WATER OR IS IT THE CELLS PHONES? NOW ITS DOGGY TORTURE..WHAT NEXT..SUCKING RATS TAILS, AND BITING OFF CHICKEN HEADS…

    1. jane d says:

      Its cyclical. Sociology studies have shown, that abuse begets abuse. A classic example, is Michael Vic. He grew up in that environment where he watched and learned there was nothing wrong with torturing dogs. Pulling teeth out of female dogs, hanging them so they cannot fight back to aggressively breeding. How would you feel if you had to give birth every 9 months.. It would be exhausting & bad for our health. another example. People who were abused, turn around and abuse others. A significant amount of people in prison, are either illiterate or did not graduate from high school and had no other option but to commit crime. or they had a family member who was or is in prison. Its a vicious cycle. That is why we need to spend tax dollars on education rather than TV and weights for prisons. but its too expensive. They get out, and our taxes our spent on sending them back or dealing with their crime anyway.. where is the logic and when will it end.

      1. Sue says:

        No other option but to commit crimes? What? That is a cop out. You can be a functional illiterate. I know people that can barely read or can’t read and they have jobs.
        There isn’t an excuse for violent crimes. It’s just that the person committing them doesn’t care that what they are doing is wrong or it’s moral relativity. The people around them don’t think its bad so they don’t think its bad either.
        Doesn’t excuse it though.

  48. Dee Anderson says:

    They should hang her and throw her in the trash. What kind of a mother does this to her children and then kills helpless dogs and cats.

  49. MARIE says:

    BURN HER AT THE STAKE.

    I WOULD PAY TO SEE IT, SO WOULD MANY.

    EVIL MONSTER.

    NO MERCY NO MERCY NO MERCY

    1. Yom@ptd.net says:

      you are just as sick

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