On Wednesday, July 16, Oregon Live reported that a Portland, Oregon woman pleaded not guilty to allegations that she drowned her brother's two-year-old dog. Laura D. Carney-Herrara, 44, was charged with two counts of first degree aggravated animal abuse, two counts of first degree animal abuse, second degree animal abuse, and first degree animal neglect.
Investigators believe that Carney-Herrara killed the dog, named Fred, between January and March. The Oregon Humane Society received an anonymous tip that prompted the investigation by OHS special agent Allen Zaugg.
During the investigation, Carney-Herrera told Zaugg that she had been caring for her brother's dog. According to an affidavit, the dog would not eat and defecated constantly on the floor - so Carney-Herrara asked her brother to take the dog back. When her brother didn't, the situation quickly escalated.
Carney-Herrara told Zaugg that she had just gotten out of the hospital on one day when she came home and the dog had defecated on the floor again.
According to the affidavit, Carney-Herrara "got upset and kicked him in the butt, and he yelped and ran crooked into the bathroom and kept yelping. She said that when she saw that he was bleeding and yelping and couldn't stand on his back legs and kept falling over she was afraid that people would think she was a bad person for hurting Fred so she put him in a plastic tub."
The affidavit stated that Carney-Herrara put the plastic tub in her bathtub, filled it with water, and drowned Fred. Authorities stated that she asked her son to bury the dog.
Carney-Herrara's son told a Multnomah County animal services officer that he came by her apartment and found the dog dead in a plastic tub full of water.
According to a neighbor, Carney-Herrara had a broken toe around Christmastime and stated that she broke it when she "she kicked the dog." Carney-Herrara, who was booked into the Multnomah County Detention Center on July 9, remains in custody.
In addition to her animal cruelty and animal neglect charges, Carney-Herrera also faces unrelated allegations of harassment and assault stemming from an alleged incident on March 9, when she was in the ER. Court records state that she's accused of kicking a nurse in the ribs.
According to Oregon State law (ORS 167.320):
1) A person commits the crime of animal abuse in the first degree if, except as otherwise authorized by law, the person intentionally, knowingly or recklessly:
(a) Cause serious physical injury to an animal; or
(b) Cruelly causes the death of an animal.
(2) Any practice of good animal husbandry is not a violation of this section.
(3) Animal abuse in the first degree is a Class A misdemeanor.
While Carney-Herrera's first and second degree animal abuse charges are misdemeanors, her charge of aggravated animal abuse is a class C Felony.