A Middlebrook, Virginia, woman is America’s newest least-favorite person after she allegedly shot and killed six puppies.
According to The Associated Press, Betty G. Hemp was charged with shooting the puppies and then throwing their bodies over an embankment.
The 39-year-old Hemp was arrested Thursday and charged with six counts of animal cruelty and six counts of illegal dumping. She was freed on $2,500 bond.
The dogs were allegedly killed on Dec. 22.
“(T)he Augusta County Sheriff’s office and Animal Control discovered the puppies on the 200 block of Troxel Gap Rd in Middlebrook after receiving a report that 6 dogs had been shot and killed,” WTVR-TV reported.
— Heather O’Neill (@Heatherknows2) December 28, 2018
The estimated age of the puppies was between 4 and 6 months. No information was given about the breed or sex of the dogs.
Hemp’s arrest sparked plenty of outrage on social media, particularly over the low bond given to her.
“Only 2500 unsecured bond issued? Y’all are worse than Texas when it comes to protecting animals,” The (Columbia, South Carolina) State reported one Facebook user said.
“There isn’t a penalty severe enough,” another user wrote.
Reactions were similar on Twitter.
Jail for 10 years FOR EACH PUPPY.
— Janet Fincannon (@catperson8) December 28, 2018
Yep… a measly little $2500 bond… smh 💔
— pitbulls&PLUR ♡ (@htfleming73) December 28, 2018
— Pre-existing Condition (@gh14hinojosa5) December 28, 2018
Augusta County Commonwealth’s Attorney Tim Martin told WHSV-TV that penalties for what Hemp is accused of doing could range from five years behind bars to no jail time at all.
“The things that weigh in are the things that weigh in on every case,” Martin said. “So, the particular facts of the case, but also the person’s criminal history. So those two things will weigh in on this one just like any other.”
He added that, when dogs are shot like this, there’s a question of whether the action was taken to prevent suffering or to cause it.
“In a case like this, what we see is a situation where the animal’s suffering was caused,” Martin said. “I think we’ve all gone through that sad experience of euthanizing a pet, and that’s heartbreaking. That’s not what this was.”
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