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Dog groomer pleads not guilty in poisoning case

Dog groomer pleads not guilty in poisoning case

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BLOOMINGTON - A Bloomington dog groomer accused of poisoning two dogs owned by one of her competitors entered not guilty pleas to the allegations in court Friday.

Denise "Deenie" Read, 44, of Normal was charged last month with one count each of intimidation, criminal damage to property and cruel treatment to animals.

Read is accused of throwing a bag containing hamburger laced with antifreeze over a fence on Sept. 18, poisoning two dogs owned by Tim Bowling, the owner of Canine Design on South Bunn Street.

Police said the meat was tested and showed signs of contamination with ethylene glycol, a main ingredient of antifreeze.

Read, also known as Deenie Sullivan and Denise Franks, owns Deenie's Bed and Biscuit, 1811 Morrissey Drive.

Read's attorney, Jason Cannell, said Friday that he likely will file a motion to move Read's trial outside McLean County because of extensive pretrial news coverage of the case.

"There has been so much publicity and … there have been things reported that are untrue," Cannell said after Read's arraignment.

In comments after her arrest, Read suggested the allegations by Bowling may be financially motivated.

Bowling previously told the Pantagraph that he was alerted to the poisoning by witnesses who saw a bag thrown from a vehicle. The dogs, a mountain cur hunting dog and a cocker spaniel, became ill the following day.

A third dog that also was in the outdoor area of the kennel showed no signs of poisoning.

If convicted, Read faces two to five years in prison and a fine of $25,000.

Read is due in court Dec. 7 for a status hearing.


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