“This woman went to great lengths to hide what she did to these dogs,” prosecutor Laurie Lowry said. “It was cruel, it was a crime, and we’re going to get her on this one finally.”
The owner and operator of a local pet grooming business is facing some serious charges this week in Angels Camp, California. Not only did she allegedly deprive Casper and Coco of food and water, she killed Cici and then hid the body.
And a Calaveras County Superior Court judge is having none of it…
Check it out per the Union Democrat:
A Calaveras County Superior Court judge ruled that the owner of the Pet Bath House in Angels Camp will stand trial on multiple felony animal cruelty and grand theft charges following the conclusion of her preliminary hearing Wednesday morning.
Judge Timothy Healy upheld three counts of felony animal cruelty, with two pertaining to the deprivation of the “necessary food, drink and shelter” of Casper and Coco, who were located by Calaveras County Animal Services on Pennsylvania Gulch Road in Murphys.
Healy said he would only “barely” uphold the charge of animal cruelty in the death of Cici, indicating there was only “weak” circumstantial evidence that Hughes “maliciously and intentionally” caused the death while the dog was in her care.
During the hearing Wednesday, Angels Camp Police officer Chris Johnson described visiting Vonna Faye Hughes at the Pet Bath House on July 4, 2017.
“She explained that she just turned them loose,” he said, referring to the three pitbulls that had been boarded in her business by Butte Fire survivor Steven Mendoza in late June 2017.
“I believe that was her way of getting the dogs out of her care to take care of the problem.”
Angels Camp Police Chief Todd Fordahl testified that he investigated a report of a decomposed dog carcass inside a garbage bag that had been seen on July 3 or 4 outside of a spillway debris gate at a Utica Power Authority property on Crestview Drive in Murphys.
The dog carcass, which was bloody and attached to a leash and collar, had been taken to a refuse pile before it was reported to the police department weeks later when a worker recognized the animal from a flier, he said.
When Fordahl investigated the animal, it was decayed, “pretty decomposed,” and may have been ravaged by scavengers, he said. A planned necropsy to determine the cause of death was never conducted due to the state of the animal.
Judge Healy also noted that because of Cici was found behind two locked gates, and supposedly where no one would ever find her, that Hughes needed to answer for the dog’s death, even if she didn’t personally kill the animal.
And if you were truly innocent,
why would you try to hide the body in the first place?
What should happen to this sick and twisted woman?