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Woman gets six months for starving dogs in animal cruelty case

April 30, 2019 

A jury took four minutes to convict a Houston woman of animal cruelty over two dogs who were emaciated, infested with parasites, and suffering from severe skin infections, Harris County District Attorney Kim Ogg and Constable Ted Heap announced Tuesday. 

‘Dogs are family to many people, and we won’t tolerate them being abused,” Ogg said. 

Following the one-day trial, a judge Monday sentenced Stephanie Renee Dunn, 45, to 180 days in jail for the two charges of Cruelty to Non-Livestock Animals.

“These animals were suffering, starving, and being treated like trash,” said Assistant District Attorney Whitney Rasberry, of the District Attorney’s Animal Cruelty Unit. 

“The citizens of Harris County spoke and held this defendant accountable for her actions,” Rasberry said. “No animal deserves to live in the deplorable conditions that these dogs had to endure.”

One dog was kept on a hefty chain. Neither had adequate food, water or medical care, according to a veterinarian who testified. 

The adult dogs, who were kept in a trash-strewn fenced in yard, were so starved and dehydrated that they looked like skeletons and later had to be euthanized. 

A puppy survived and has since been adopted.

The case was investigated by the Harris County Precinct 5 Constable’s Office as part of the new county-wide Animal Cruelty Task Force. 

“Neglect, abuse, abandonment and cruelty toward animals within Harris County will no longer be tolerated,” Heap said. . “Law enforcement, along with the District Attorney’s Office, has committed to pursuing these cases and seeking justice.”

This case, which was investigated by the Harris County Fire Marshal’s Office, follows a verdict last week in which a man was sentenced to seven years in prison for attempting to burn a dog.

Edwin Jermaine Stewart, 43, pleaded guilty to Cruelty to Non-Livestock Animals in the case, and was sentenced by a judge.

The dog survived, but had about 60 percent of his underbelly burned.

“The verdicts in these case tell us the judges and juries of Harris County care about justice for animals,” said Assistant District Attorney Jessica Milligan, chief of the Animal Cruelty Unit at the Harris County District Attorney’s Office.