“Personally, I think this cold hearted bitch; deserved a far more severe sentence for letting a dog die! She got off bloody lightly & shouldn’t be allowed to own other animals period. What’s the point in ordering someone to a attend an animal care class; when they clearly don’t give a shit about animals!!”
ST. LOUIS • A St. Louis woman has admitted to one of the city’s worst known cases of animal neglect, in which she starved her two dogs to near death, then threw one of them away in the trash bin behind her house.
The dog who was tossed in the trash later died. He was named “Our Little Boy” by Stray Rescue, the animal rescue group that tried to save him. The other dog, “Our Little Girl,” was so emaciated she could not stand, but ultimately recovered and was adopted.
Stray Rescue founder Randy Grim called it one of the worst cases of animal neglect he’s experienced, and when the cityannounced the formation of an Animal Abuse Task Force in September, it was one of the first to be prosecuted.
Cennitra Fowler, 22, the owner of the two dogs, pleaded guilty on Friday to two misdemeanor counts of animal abuse. In exchange for her plea, prosecutors recommended and a judge ordered she serve one year of unsupervised probation in which she will have to perform 24 hours of community service, take an animal care class with Stray Rescue and donate $75 to the Humane Society of Missouri. She is also not allowed to have or care for any pets during that time.
The range of punishment for an animal abuse charge is up to one year in jail.
On Tuesday, Grim said he thought Fowler “got off quite easy” given the trauma the dogs went through, but that he also understands sentencing options were limited for the misdemeanor charges that were issued.
“If she doesn’t want to go to jail she has to do everything right and take responsibility for her actions,” he noted. “One dog died because of her. Could (the sentence) be tougher? Sure. But I’m just glad there’s an educational component.”
Grim said the class at Stray Rescue is not an easy one, and he will not hesitate to report to the judge if Fowler does not participate wholeheartedly.
“This is her chance to show she can be responsible,” he said.
Fowler called the city about her two dogs in October 2011; it’s not clear why. Stray Rescue volunteers who responded said they found the female dog with bones protruding.
“I threw the other dog away,” Fowler told them of the male dog.
Prosecutors said the formation of the task force a year later enabled them to charge Fowler. Before the task force, there was no coordinated approach between the city health department, police and Stray Rescue.
Cases like Fowler’s had also previously been handled as ordinance violations in municipal court.