YPSILANTI TWP. (WWJ) - A Ypsilanti Township woman who admitted to tying her dog's mouth shut with twine so he couldn't eat has been found guilty in the case.
Crystal Smith, the dog's owner, was found guilty of animal cruelty March 21 in 14B District Court. She's due back in court for sentencing on May 2.
The Humane Society of Huron Valley (HSHV) said the Alaskan Husky was severely underweight and dehydrated when he was taken from Smith in August. An investigation into Smith's treatment of the animal began after a neighbor reported that the dog, which was kept on a chain outside, got loose.
Officials brought the emaciated dog to HSHV, where authorities discovered a large wound on his side. Smith later admitted the his injuries were from a burn, but asserted in court that the burns "just showed up one day." Smith also admitted in court that she tied the dog's mouth shut with twine, making him unable to eat.
"This was a really clear case of animal cruelty and we are grateful to the prosecutor and judge for seeing the gravity of this dog's suffering. Animal cruelty is a serious crime and we want to make sure people who intentionally hurt animals pay for their crimes," Matt Schaecher, HSHV Director of Animal Cruelty, said in a statement.
HSHV officials say the dog, who has lived at the shelter for 216 days, gained eight pounds in his first eight days at the facility. He also received extensive medical treatment for his injuries and other health problems related to neglect.
"Our staff and volunteers have done a fantastic job of protecting him, healing him and keeping him comfortable during a very long stay. This is a great dog and his suffering is through no fault of his own. He deserves a chance at a happy life," Tanya Hilgendorf, HSHV CEO, said in a statement.
Now healthy and healed, the Husky is going up for adoption and looking for a family that will give him the love and care he deserves. For information on adoption, visit www.HSHV.org or call 734-661-3511.
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