MASSACHUSETTS -- A Springfield woman who failed to get treatment for her dog's badly infected eye has been charged with animal abuse.
Jessica Torres, 32, pleaded not guilty Tuesday in Springfield District Court to one count of cruelty to an animal following a complaint filed by the Massachusetts Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals.
In August, Torres took her dog Piglet to the Boston Road Animal Hospital for evaluation of an eye infection that had begun three weeks earlier and was getting worse, according to the complaint.
Torres was given prescriptions for antibiotics and pain medicine and told the dog's eye was so severely infected that it would probably have to be removed, the complaint said.
"She left with instructions to seek care as soon as possible because Piglet was in pain," MSPCA investigator Christine Allenberg wrote in the complaint.
Three months later, the 4-year-old poodle and cocker spaniel mix had received no treatment, had a temperature of 104 degrees and her right eyeball had popped out of its socket, the complaint said. At that time, Torres was seeking to have the dog euthanized due to odor from the infected eyeball, according to the complaint.
The woman agreed to surrender the dog to the Thomas J. O'Connor Animal Control and Adoption Center on Nov. 16. The dog's eye was removed during emergency surgery the next day and she is recovering from her ordeal, the complaint said.
In addition to photos of the dog's infected eye, the case file contains copies of unfilled prescriptions for antibiotics, pain medication and eye drops that Torres received from the animal hospital along with a list of agencies that provide help to low-income pet owners.
Torres [argued that] she could not afford to seek treatment for the dog, and did not speak English well enough to contact any of the recommended agencies for financial help, the report said.
BS. There are plenty of low-income options and there are TONS of government run services available to Hispanics who do not speak English "well enough", especially in larger cities like Springfield.
She said she adopted the dog in June through Facebook, and had already adopted a second one before surrendering Piglet, the complaint said.
"Ms. Torres showed me a tan and white dog that she had just gotten the day before from another post she saw on Facebook," Allenberg noted in the complaint.
Following her arraignment Tuesday, Torres was released on personal recognizance and told to return for a pretrial hearing on Feb. 28.
(MassLive - Dec 29, 2016)