A Washington County woman was charged Monday with animal cruelty for the death of her Pomeranian after she left the dog in an unshaded pen with no water on a 90-degree day last month.
The warrant was filed Monday against Amanda Brooke Curtis, 24, 154 Scott Hills Road, Jonesborough, in Washington County Sessions Court.
According to the court document, Animal Control Officer Wayne Thomas responded to Curtis’ residence on a complaint about dogs running loose and being aggressive on May 29. When Thomas arrived, he saw a black terrier and a white and brown pit bull mix running loose. The dogs ran under a porch, which prevented Thomas from being able to catch them.
In the front yard, Thomas found the dead dog, a Pomeranian, inside a fenced pen. Thomas noted in the court document that he arrived at Curtis’ residence at 3:40 p.m. and the temperature was 94 degrees.
According to the court document, Curtis told Thomas her brother had seen a snake bite the Pomeranian, and that the dog had only been in the outdoor pen for a “few minutes.” But Thomas said he could not corroborate that information.
After investigating further, Thomas determined the Pomeranian had been in the outdoor pen all day.
“The Pomeranian died from possible heat exposure due to owner neglect,” Thomas wrote in the court record.
Tennessee state law requires pet owners who keep their pets outdoors to provide shelter, food and water to the animal. Dogs do not have sweat glands, so they pant to keep themselves cool and need water to aid that as well.
Thomas said in his report that the Pomeranian’s pen had no shade at all available to it and the food and water were on the porch away from the pen.
Curtis is scheduled for her first court appearance in the case today.