Found guilty of animal abuse, Martinsville woman avoids jail time & gets to keep her other pets

A 26-year old woman in Henry County, Virginia has avoided jail time despite entering a no contest plea to two misdemeanor animal cruelty charges. Kayla Dalton was charged last year after two extremely emaciated puppies were found in a dumpster.

As reported by WSLS 10 News, Dalton and her boyfriend initially told investigators that they had found the dogs at a local landfill, but she later confessed that the pair had purchased the dogs in early 2017 before breaking up. Dalton’s attorney claimed that she had tried to get the dogs to eat, but the commonwealth argued that she had put them in a crate and stopped caring for them.

An animal welfare officer from the SPCA told media: “What [the two puppies] suffered, we hope will defer any other animal from going through that abuse in the future.” The puppies involved, named Winnie and Dash, were reportedly “emaciated and malnourished to the point of not being able to stand” when discovered. Thankfully they have since recovered and been adopted into permanent homes.

For her role, Dalton was fined, ordered to pay restitution to the SPCA, and was sentenced to 30 days in jail with all time suspended provided she is on good behavior for a year. She was also permitted to keep her remaining three cats – a decision that has not been welcomed by the SPCA. “I’m very concerned about the three cats that she still has, but I’m just glad there’s justice for these two dogs,” said one welfare officer.