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Berkshire County Man's Animal Cruelty Charges Dismissed

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A judge has dismissed more than 30 counts of animal cruelty against a Berkshire County man who was breeding cats, ruling that authorities' search of his properties violated his constitutional rights.In total, 31 felony charges of animal cruelty and 25 counts of rabies vaccine violations were dismissed from Northern Berkshire District Court upon the request of defendant John D'Allessandro, of Savoy.

The Berkshire Eagle reports that the judge said two search warrants requested by police and approved by a clerk magistrate "violated the defendant's right to be free from unreasonable search and seizure."

Police went to the property in January and said they discovered a "kitten mill," full of sick cats.

The judge ruled the initial application for a search warrant did not reach the threshold of probable cause.

Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved.

Jim is WAMC’s Assistant News Director and hosts WAMC's flagship news programs: Midday Magazine, Northeast Report and Northeast Report Late Edition. Email: jlevulis@wamc.org