DUMONT, N.J. -- An assistant prosecutor told Daily Voice that both sides are trying to settle the case against an animal rescue stemming from the discovery of two dead dogs and a half-dozen emaciated canines at her Dumont home.
Gabrielle Ganter showed up for court this afternoon hours after her scheduled 9:30 a.m. trial -- while reporters were at a proceeding for a Little Ferry priest charged with pointing a gun at a young parishioner.
Ganter, who'd chopped her hair months ago before surrendering to authorities, wore a silver kerchief and a staple-like lip piercing, witnesses said.
"She waited until traffic court was done," one said, "and there she was."
Ganter is to return on Tuesday, Oct. 13, but not for a trial. Both sides said they may be able to work out a deal by then.
First, however, prosecutors want to be sure animal control officers are OK with the arrangement.
Several of them came to Central Municipal Court ready to testify.
Eventually, Judge Louis Dinice dismissed them and threatened to have Ganter arrested if she didn't show up by the end of the day.
Ganter was late for a previously scheduled hearing in August, but Dinice said it didn’t matter at the time because he still hadn’t received veterinary reports from the Bergen County Animal Shelter.
Bergen County SPCA investigators in June filed 26 charges of animal cruelty and neglect following an investigation that included necropsies.
Police alerted SPCA investigators after finding the dead animals in plastic garbage bags in the house and the live dogs — as well as a starved cat — chained in the yard without proper shelter.
Ganter — whose reportedly is pregnant — remained free on $5,000 bail, posted a day after she turned herself in to Belleville police on an outstanding arrest warrant in early July.
The live dogs and cat have continued to be held at the Bergen County Animal Shelter pending the closure of the case, after which authorities said there could be adoptions.
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