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K9 training facility owner faces additional charge related to dog's death

Becky Campbell • Oct 1, 2019 at 11:49 AM

State prosecutors added a tampering with evidence charge against a woman who owns a dog training franchise where a family’s dog died in the franchise’s care.

Randi LaFerney, 55, 405 Sugar Hollow Road, Piney Flats, and Andrew “Andy” Hunigan, 28, 1 Gatewood Drive, Johnson City, each were charged with one count of aggravated animal cruelty after an 8-month-old bull terrier named Dallas died in Hunigan’s care, police said.

Both were indicted on the charges, and LaFerney received an additional charge of tampering with evidence, stemming from an allegation she attempted to have the dog cremated without the owner's consent.

The dog was supposed to be with Hunigan for two weeks of boarding and training through LaFerney’s business — Off Leash K9 Training East Tennessee — but the time kept getting extended because Hunigan told the owners the pup needed more housebreaking training. The dog was described as “stubborn,” in the housebreaking process, even by his owner.

The owners dropped Dallas off at the Off Leash K9 at 3 Charter Court, Suite B, Johnson City.

Six weeks later, Dallas was dead from starvation and dehydration, according to a necropsy report completed by the University of Tennessee veterinary school.

The report showed the dog had 0% body fat and there was no presence of food in the GI tract. The dog had lost half his body weight in the time he was with Hunigan, officials said. Dallas remained in training that long supposedly because he was not getting the hang of potty training.

During the time Dallas was in training, the Arnolds only had contact with Hunigan, according to previous testimony in the case.

Laferney and Hunigan’s next court hearing was scheduled for Jan. 30.

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