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Berlin Woman Faces Animal Cruelty Charge

Posted on Jul 24, 2009 - 4:25 PM
Times Argus
Article published Jul 24, 2009

Berlin woman faces animal cruelty charge

BARRE A Berlin woman is accused of neglecting her poodle and now faces a criminal charge.

Katherine Bushey, 52, pleaded innocent on Thursday to animal cruelty for allegedly neglecting her dog which goes by the name "Puppy" and was released on conditions after a hearing in Vermont District Court in Barre.

The investigation into the alleged animal cruelty was conducted by Anne Ross, the manager of the Central Vermont Humane Society, who is recognized as a Humane Officer by the state Agency of Agriculture, according to the affidavit supporting the charge.

Ross wrote in the affidavit that on Dec. 30, 2008, a toy poodle was dropped off at the Central Vermont Humane Society that was covered in live fleas, flea dirt and skin sores.

The dog had a litany of other problems, including feces in its fur, Ross stated.

"The dog's ears were very dirty and appeared yeasty," she wrote. "The dog acted painful (flinched and pulled away) when his ears were touched. The dog's teeth had heavy tarter. There were several teeth missing and the gums were very swollen. The dog exhibited severe pain when I attempted to examine his mouth. It did not appear the dog would be able to chew food. The dog's eyes were open and the hair around the eyes had dried and crusted right onto the dog's eyes. I could barely see past the hair and it was clear that the dog was unable to close his eyes or open them completely."

The dog was taken to the Worcester Veterinary Clinic in Worcester for an emergency appointment, and the veterinarian there told Ross that the dog would need to be sedated in order to remove the hair from its eyes.

Ross and the veterinarian discussed euthanasia as an option because of the dog's extreme pain, Ross wrote.

The dog underwent surgery that afternoon, and was shaved and cleaned, according to court records.

The day after the dog was dropped off at the humane society, Bushey called looking for her missing dog, which she said was 19 to 20 years old, according to court records. Bushey said the dog had been missing for about two days.

Ross learned that the last time Puppy was taken to the vet was 2004 and the vet records indicated many problems with the dog at that time, court records show.

Puppy is still in the custody of the Central Vermont Humane Society, according to the affidavit.

Bushey represented herself at her arraignment, but said she plans to have a lawyer start representing her. Bushey would not comment outside the courtroom.

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