Wednesday, May 17, 2017

California: Janice Mathis to stand trial in starvation death of puppy

CALIFORNIA -- A trial date has been set for a 26-year-old Daly City woman accused of leaving her 3-month-old Chihuahua to starve to death in her mother’s backyard.

On Wednesday, Janice S. Mathis pleaded not guilty in San Mateo County Superior Court to one felony count of animal neglect. Judge Donald Ayoob then scheduled her trial for Sept. 18.

Mathis could get up to three years in prison if convicted, said District Attorney Steve Wagstaffe.

On Nov. 9, Mathis brought the body of the puppy, named Baby, to the Peninsula Humane Society for disposal. Prosecutors said the dog was “severely emaciated” and covered in urine and feces.

Further investigation revealed Mathis, the puppy’s sole owner, had left him in a crate in her mother’s backyard for several days, according to prosecutors. The mother did not know the dog was there.

Two children found the puppy’s body.

Prosecutors said a necropsy showed Baby had no underlying illness and died of starvation. Bone marrow fat testing also revealed the dog’s fat content was 0.8 percent, significantly less than the average of 59.4 percent.

Mathis’ court-appointed attorney, Francois Espinoza, could not be immediately reached for comment Thursday.

Mathis is out of custody on $50,000 bond.

(Mercury News - May 17, 2017)