Hi-Tor Animal Shelter President Indicted
Rockland County District Attorney Thomas E. Walsh II announced today the indictment of Debbie Dibernardo, President of Hi-Tor Animal Care Center Inc, following a thorough investigation by the Rockland County District Attorney’s Office Special Investigations Unit after receiving tips from the public.
Debbie Dibernardo, 51, was indicted by a Rockland County Grand Jury for Offering a False Instrument for Filing in the 1st Degree and Falsifying Business Records in the 2nd Degree (17 Counts).
On June 25, 2020, Debbie 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 (17) animals at Hi-Tor Animal Shelter facility. On July 1st, 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. The Hi-Tor Animal Shelter is located in Pomona, NY and was founded in 1973. 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.
“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.
I would like to thank members of the public and the investigators of the District Attorney’s Special Investigations Unit for their professionalism and hard work on this case.” said District Attorney Tom Walsh.
Dibernardo was arraigned in Rockland County Court today by the Honorable Judge Larry J. Schwartz and released on her own recognizance. She will return to court on January 18, 2022. The case is being prosecuted by Senior Assistant District Attorney George Del Fierro.
It should be noted that a criminal complaint is merely an accusation and that a defendant is presumed innocent until proven guilty.