Lindsey Alexandria Price, 30, entered the plea, which means she didn’t admit guilt but agreed the state had sufficient evidence to convict her of the crime. She was sentenced to a year in jail, but that was suspended to six days behind bars with the remainder on probation.
The agreed-upon charge was felony aggravated animal cruelty, along with the dismissal of a misdemeanor animal cruelty charge.
A felony conviction will prevent her from being able to vote, own a gun or hold public office. The charge stemmed from the discovery in June 2017 of a dog’s decayed remains inside a condo Price rented in Johnson City.
Although the remains were not able to be positively linked to the mixed breed dog named Luna, authorities said the size and few markings that were left led them to believe it was the same dog.
The investigation began in late May after Price’s landlord at her Northridge condo found the carcass of an adult black and brown dog. Animal control officials said Price adopted a 12-week old brown and black puppy — named Sugar at the time, but renamed Luna after the adoption — in March 2015.
According to Price’s statement during the investigation, she gave her condo key to someone else at the complex and asked them to feed the dog. No one lived in the units on either side of Price’s, so it was unlikely anyone would have heard sounds the dog may have made.
“We were pleased she ended up with a felony charge,” Tammy Davis, one of the Washington County/Johnson City Animal Shelter directors, said after the hearing.
“Hopefully, one day there will be stricter punishment for people who abuse animals,” Davis said. “Myself and my animal control officers will not tolerate animal cruelty or animal abuse.”
Davis said Price had other options instead of leaving the dog behind.
“She could have brought the dog back to us, or she could have just opened the door and let the dog out instead of letting it starve,” Davis said. The adoption agreement with the shelter stipulates that if an owner can no longer care for an adopted animal, they are to take it back to the shelter.
Price’s attorney, Scott Shults, said his client had been the target of a lot of hatred from people on social media since her arrest.
“I love animals ... my life resolves around my dog,” Shults said. “What bothers me is the amount of vitriol and hatred that has been cast toward Lindsey and her family. Last week I was the only one in the audience on a case of rape of a 4-year-old little girl. When nobody shows up for that. ... I think people’s priorities need to be evaluated.”
Price’s jail sentence had not been worked out Friday, but Shults said those details would be arranged soon.