Wednesday, April 20, 2016

Alaska: April Gutierrez charged with animal abuse after dog chews off own leg

ALASKA -- A 47-year-old North Pole woman has been charged with animal abuse for allegedly causing severe physical pain and suffering to her pregnant and injured dog last summer.

According to a criminal complaint filed Monday in Fairbanks District Court, April Arlene Gutierrez and a friend dropped the 2-year-old dachshund off at the Animal House Veterinary Clinic on July 28, 2015.

Gutierrez reportedly told staff the dog, named Shebba, had been hit by a car a month earlier and was now trying to chew her leg off.

Dr. Deeanna Thornell, the owner of the clinic, called Fairbanks North Star Borough Animal Control to report Shebba’s condition. 

The bones of her left rear foot were exposed, the foot was dangling and she appeared to have chewed it off. The leg had to be amputated, according to the complaint.

Shebba’s genital region was infested with maggots and a radiographic exam showed her puppies had been dead inside of her for about 48 hours, according to the complaint. 

Animal control reported the abuse to Alaska State Troopers, who were unable to locate Gutierrez because she had been evicted. They were able to speak to her friend, who said Gutierrez put a splint on Shebba’s leg after she was hit but that the leg didn’t get better. The friend said she and Gutierrez tried to take Shebba to Loving Companions but staff there told them to take her to a vet.

Troopers located Gutierrez on Dec. 16, 2015. She told them Shebba got hit because she was chasing the tires of a car, and her leg got worse because she was running and trying to keep up with the other dogs.

She CLAIMED she didn’t take Shebba to the vet because she didn’t have any money and CLAIMED that the dog was fine. 

Gutierrez is charged with one count of misdemeanor criminal negligence for failure to care for an animal resulting in death or severe physical pain and suffering. The charge is a class A misdemeanor punishable by up to one year in jail and a $10,000 fine.

Gutierrez has previous convictions for assault and driving under the influence.

(News Miner - April 19, 2016)