Dale Bozzio, singer for ‘80s New Wave band Missing Persons and former Playboy Bunny, is facing 12 misdemeanors in a trial for animal cruelty charges that began last week.
A neighbor of Bozzio’s kicked off the trial Feb. 23 by testifying that she observed the singer’s house with dead cats lying around and live animals surrounded by filth, according to the Conway Daily Sun.
Last October police raided the singer’s house she was leasing in Ossipee, N.H., which resulted in 12 cats being put down. The paper noted that the law enforcement investigation was aided by the Lakes Region Humane Society, according to a police release.
Back in October Bozzio pleaded not guilty to three misdemeanor counts of animal cruelty and that the nine additional misdemeanor charges were for the latest nine cats to be euthanized, police said.
Bozzio, who also sang on the Frank Zappa album Joe’s Garage and has toured as a solo artist, said she left the cats in the care of a friend.
Joe Nelson, the singer’s manager, told the Conway Daily Sun that Bozzio was in the middle of a move and a friend identified only as Deborah was supposed to be looking after her pets. Bozzio said the friend never showed up.
“She’s totally pissed. This woman promised her,” he said. “[Bozzio’s] not even talking to her anymore.”
Nelson said he didn’t think Bozzio would go to jail and that she would probably do a benefit appearance for an animal rescue after the case.
“These are a bunch of trumped up charges,” Nelson said. “It’s a bunch of small-town cops who don’t have anything better to do.” He added that, “if there are two things she loves more than life itself, they are kids and animals.”
Bozzio’s lawyer, Dennis O’Connor, echoed Nelson’s comments, telling the paper, “I do agree with [Nelson] that there are some circumstances that are behind this,” he said. “She is an animal lover and an advocate for animals.”
Bozzio said her strategy is to call on Duran Duran and other music industry associates to help her fight the charges.
Bozzio’s trial will resume March 9.