FAIRBANKS, Alaska (AP) — A woman accused of not doing enough to prevent her injured and pregnant dog from suffering until it started chewing off one of its legs in 2015 has been sentenced to a suspended one-year jail sentence and a year of probation, officials said.
April Gutierrez, 49, will not be allowed to have animals or be near them without supervision following the incident two years ago.
Gutierrez did not seek help for her 2-year-old female dachshund, Shebba, for a month after it was hit by a car — until the dog began to chew off part of its left rear leg, according to charging documents.
Veterinary clinic staff that treated the dog said there were maggots on the injured leg and bones and tendons were exposed. The dog’s leg had to be amputated.
A radiographic exam showed that the dog’s puppies had been dead inside of her for almost 48 hours, according to the complaints.
Gutierrez told police that she did not initially take the dog to a veterinarian because she could not afford it and thought the dog was OK, according to the charges.
A new law passed last year to reduce prison populations prevented prosecutors from asking for a harsher sentence for Gutierrez, said Assistant District Attorney Andrew Baldock in an email.
Shebba has been renamed Lucy and was adopted by Heather Douge’s family.
“Missing that back leg hinders her getting over things,” Douge said. “She’s a dachshund mix and has short little legs anyway, but then you add missing a leg and being able to lift her one back leg over a shoe or something becomes very challenging.”