FAIRBANKS, Alaska (AP) — Two North Pole residents who pleaded guilty to starving and abusing their 6-month-old puppy will avoid jail time.
Denise John-Carroll, 22, and Leonard Kriska, 22, reached plea agreements with prosecutors Thursday, the Fairbanks Daily News-Miner reported.
John-Carroll pleaded guilty to one felony count of knowingly inflicting prolonged suffering to an animal. Kriska pleaded guilty to a misdemeanor count of the same charge.
John-Carroll was sentenced to 18 months in jail, with all time suspended, and three years' probation. She also was ordered to pay $1,300 to a veterinary hospital that treated the dog. She is banned from owning an animal or being near one unattended.
Kriska was sentenced to 30 days in jail, with all 30 days suspended, and one year of probation. Kriska received a lesser sentence, his attorney said, because he worked out of town and was not aware of the extent of the dog's injuries.
An Alaska State Trooper responded Nov. 7 to a report of a possible domestic incident and seized the puppy.
The extremely underweight dog was found tucked into a ball with his face hidden in a gap between a wall and a kitchen cabinet. The puppy, then named "Buddy," had bleeding wounds on its back, on top of its head and on the left side of its nose.
The trooper took the dog to the veterinary hospital.
"At the time he was taken to the North Pole Veterinary Hospital, he was highly stressed, he was panting, he had lacerations on his head, abrasions on his muzzle, significant bruising on his inner thighs, injuries to his paws, injuries to ears," said Allison Baldock, an assistant district attorney.
The dog had old and new rib fractures and bruises and cuts on his lungs consistent with being kicked, Baldock said. He also was starving.
"The vet indicated he had what is called gross muscle wastage, which means he was not being fed properly and did not have enough fat covering his muscles or his bones," Baldock said.
The dog had developed a malnutrition condition that causes the radius of its legs to bow at the top and twist inward or outward.
The dog has been adopted and renamed "Leo."