Ex-Fairfield dog rescuer pleads guilty in molestation case
A former Fairfield resident and self-proclaimed animal-rights activist, who is accused of molesting her three sons and forcing them to stay in dog cages, has pleaded guilty to reduced charges.
She faces up to three years in prison when she is sentenced next month.
D'Urso, who rescued abused dogs from around the nation and sold them from her home on Eastfield Drive in Fairfield, made national news in 2006 when police raided her home and discovered more than 130 caged dogs packed into the dwelling.
She pleaded guilty to animal-cruelty charges and was placed on probation.
However, she was arrested again in 2007 for violating terms of her probation that prohibited her from having any more dogs at her home.
According to witnesses, she had two pit bulls in her home at the time. She was fined $1,500, but allowed to remain on probation.
Three months later, an associate in D'Urso's so-called animal rescue operation apparently was seen by a probation officer in the garage of her home with two dogs. She was subsequently sentenced to 60 days in prison.
On Sept. 29, 2009, she was arrested again and this time charged with attempted third-degree sexual assault and seven counts of risk of injury to a minor after police said her 14-year-old son complained that his mother had abused him and his two younger brothers.
Police said the allegations came to light after the 14-year-old was admitted to a psychiatric hospital after suffering an emotional breakdown. He and his brothers, then ages 12 and 10, spoke separately to a forensic interviewer at the Center for Women & Families in Bridgeport.