The President of a Hudson Valley animal shelter was arrested.

Rockland County District Attorney Thomas E. Walsh II announced the indictment of Debbie Dibernardo, President of Hi-Tor Animal Care Center Inc. The arrested happened after what officials call a "thorough investigation" by the Rockland County District Attorney’s Office Special Investigations Unit after receiving tips from the public.

Dibernardo, 51, was indicted by a Rockland County Grand Jury for offering a false instrument for filing in the 1st Degree and 17-counts of falsifying business records.

On June 25, 2020, Dibernardo, in her role as President of Hi-Tor Animal Care Center inc., directed the false entry of animal records into the business records of Hi-Tor Animal Care Inc, related to the intake of seventeen animals at Hi-Tor Animal Shelter facility, officials say.

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The Hi-Tor Animal Shelter is located in Pomona, New York. It was founded in 1973.

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On July 1, 2020, as part of her submission of animal documentation to Rockland County Department of Health, as required by the County contract, the defendant filed an animal intake voucher containing false information, a crime, as well as a violation of her duty within said contract, officials add.

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The shelter annually takes in approximately 2,000 animals, consisting of mainly cats and dogs, but also including small animals such as rabbits and birds.

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“This indictment is a culmination of an extensive investigation into the Hi-Tor Animal Shelter as a result of public concern. Many of us have dogs and cats as pets, that become loved members of our families. It is a sad day for Rockland County when an individual who is entrusted with overseeing shelter operations and providing vital services to animals in desperate need stands accused of violating the public's trust. Members of the community should have confidence that their tax dollars and donations are going directly to assist animals in the shelter," District Attorney Thomas E. Walsh II stated.

Diberbardo was arraigned in Rockland County Court and released on her own recognizance. She will return to court on January 18, 2022.

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