WESLEY HILLS — Colt — the Shetland sheepdog who was removed from a filthy Spook Rock Road home, only to be returned before being struck by a car trying to escape again — is back, in the unlikeliest of places: on stage at Antrim Playhouse.
In 2008, he was one of 23 dogs removed from the Wesley Hills home of Karol O’Connell, who was accused of hoarding animals and failing to care for them. Ramapo police and members of the SPCA wore gas masks to enter the home, in which pets were kept in their own filth.
When Colt was returned to the home months later, the Sheltie immediately ran away and was struck by a car, sustaining a broken back that required surgery and for the dog to be placed in a body cast.
Village Justice Philip Schnelwar charged O’Connell with criminal contempt, for defying his order against her having multiple pets. Schnelwar, a witness in the criminal-contempt case, then recused himself from handling the charges against O’Connell.
O’Connell, who later pleaded guilty to a disorderly conduct violation and relinquished ownership of all but one of her dogs, paid a state-mandated civil fine, $125, the village court clerk said.
Meanwhile, Colt became the ward of the Humane Society, living in the Manhattan and Stony Point homes of its acting president, Ann Marie Gaudio.
That might have been the last anyone had heard of Colt, a former American and Canadian show-ring champion who went on to become a therapy dog, helping humans deal with their problems.