A Lakewood, Wash. woman was charged with animal cruelty today for severely neglecting several animals. According to the Pierce County Prosecutor's Office, Prosecutor Mark Lindquist charged Patricia Ann Scott, 48, with four counts of animal cruelty.
On Thursday, Mar. 21, the Pierce County Prosecutor's office stated that between Oct. 1, 2012 and Nov. 29, 2012, the defendant severely neglected a cat, a guinea pig, and two dogs. Sadly, one of the dogs died as a result of the neglect.
“Animal cruelty laws were written to hold people accountable for crimes such as this,” stated Prosecutor Lindquist.
“When defenseless animals are victimized, we prosecute the offenders to the fullest extent under the law.”
The defendant was caring for multiple animals while living at her parents' home with her sister and brother-in-law. According to her sister, the defendant would "fly off in a rage" if anyone attempted to assist her with the animals' care.
When one of her dogs was found dead in the garage, the defendant told her brother-in-law that the dog was sleeping. He then reported the animal neglect to Pierce County Animal Control.
On Nov. 29, 2012, an Animal Control officer responded to the defendant's home. He found three crates covered with tarps and blankets in the garage. One crate contained a cat who was covered in feces; a second crate contained a dog living in similar conditions. And a third crate contained a decomposing dog.
Within the home were other animals: four birds in covered cages, a hamster, a dead mouse, an emaciated gecko, a rat, a rabbit living in a feces-filled crate with no access to food or water, and a severely neglected guinea pig with no access to food or water. Two crates contained deceased animal remains and two other crates were filled with feces.
All of the animals were removed from the residence.
The defendant was arraigned today and her next court appearance is scheduled for Apr. 4, 2013. According to the Pierce County Prosecutor's office, additional charges may be forthcoming.
The prosecutor's office noted that charges are only allegations and a person is presumed innocent unless he or she is proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt.
In Washington State, a person is guilty of Animal Cruelty in the First Degree if he or she intentionally (a) inflicts substantial pain on, (b) causes physical injury to, or (c) kills an animal by a means causing undue suffering, or forces a minor to inflict unnecessary pain, injury, or death on an animal.
A person is guilty of animal cruelty in the first degree when, except as authorized by law, he or she, with criminal negligence, starves, dehydrates, or suffocates an animal and as a result causes: (a) Substantial and unjustifiable physical pain that extends for a period sufficient to cause considerable suffering; or (b) death.
Seattle Pets Examiner will continue to provide updates to this story.
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