A Campbell County, Tennessee judge dismissed a case of animal cruelty involving a mother and son charged with abandoning their puppy with no food, water or veterinarian care citing the two weren’t being cruel, reports Tuesday’s Knoxnews.
According to court records, Campbell County General Sessions Judge Amanda Sammons stated Carla Overbay, 43, and her son Tyler Seiber, 23, were just too broke to care for the puppy. Dr. Mark Garrett of the Animal Hospital of Campbell County testified the condition affecting the puppy was easily treatable and inexpensive. He said the dog’s condition had worsened because of lack of care. The Assistant District Attorney argued the puppy had been abandoned when discovered constituting two provisions of the animal cruelty act which includes failure to provide care and abandoning an animal.
Last April, a small dog dubbed Scarlet, was discovered by officers from the Campbell County Sheriff’s Office after responding to a call from the Friends of Campbell County Animals. The three-month-old puppy was found lying in the grass and dirt near the side of a building. Initially authorities thought the puppy had been hit by a car, but it wasn’t abrasions and injuries from a collision that affected the puppy’s health; her entire body was full of infection, and her skin was literally peeling away from untreated demodex mange accompanied by multiple secondary infections.
Overbay and her son Seiber were arrested and each charged with one count of animal cruelty. Although both Overbay and Seiber initially denied having any knowledge of the dog, Seiber confessed to owning the dog. He also admitted failing to take Scarlet to a veterinarian for medical services and had been aware of her terrible condition. As to Overbay, she originally told police the dog “just showed up” at her home, but later recanted her story stating she “didn’t want to see anyone get in trouble.” A Facebook page, Scarlet which has been fighting for justice for the dog can be followed by clicking here. A comment summed up the general feelings of the judge’s decision: “Diane **** It is time to appeal and pressure the district attorney to seek an indictment from a grand jury. Tennessee will be the first state with an animal abuser registry starting in January, but it will do no good with verdicts like this. This is a sad verdict for all.”
A petition has garnered over 11,000 signatures in three days asking for the case to be reopened.
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