Woman Charged in Dog Starvation

Katera Latrice Alexander

Katera Latrice Alexander

WINNSBORO (Feb. 2, 2017) – A Winnsboro woman charged with starving a dog to death turned herself in this week to the Winnsboro Department of Public Safety.

Acting Chief of Public Safety Maj. John Seibles said Katera Latrice Alexander, 28, of Forest Hills Drive turned herself over to police on Sunday. Alexander faces a misdemeanor charge of cruelty to animals, first offense. She was released on a $1,000 personal recognizance bond and will return to Municipal Court for trial at 11 a.m., Feb. 20.

Seibles said Alexander’s offense did not rise to the level of a felony charge because no torture was involved.

According to Chapter A of the state statute, “Whoever knowingly or intentionally overloads, overdrives, overworks, ill- treats any animal, deprives any animal of necessary sustenance or shelter, inflicts unnecessary pain or suffering upon any animal, or by omission or commission knowingly or intentionally causes these things to be done, for every offense is guilty of a misdemeanor . . .”

Those convicted “must be punished,” the statute states, by not more than 60 days in jail or a fine of not less than $100 and not more than $500, or both.

A Public Safety officer responded on Jan. 13 to a call of a malnourished dog tied up on the front porch of Alexander’s home. The female pit bull was, according to the incident report, so badly emaciated that vertebrae, ribs and hip bones could be seen pressing through the skin. A bucket for water sat on the porch, but it was turned over on its side and empty. There was no food bowl available for the dog, the report states. Instead, there was a milk jug with a hole cut into the top sitting on the porch near the dog’s house. Inside the jug, according to the report, was what appeared to be milk with a layer of grease floating on top.

One of the last photos of the Alexander pit bull. The dog, approximately 3- to 4-years old according to Animal Control estimates, was malnourished and emaciated beyond recovery and later euthanized by the County. (Fairfield County Photo)

One of the last photos of the Alexander pit bull. The dog, approximately 3- to 4-years old according to Animal Control estimates, was malnourished and emaciated beyond recovery and later euthanized by the County. (Fairfield County Photo)

Alexander reportedly told the officer that the dog had been ill for more than a month and would not eat, but she said she had not taken the animal to a vet because she could not afford to do so. Nevertheless, the dog immediately consumed two packages of crackers offered to her by the officer and drank a large amount of water once the officer filled her bowl.

Alexander reportedly told the officer that she had given the dog deworming medication, but that it did not help. Someone told her, she said, to give the dog milk and grease as a remedy, but the officer noted that it did not appear as though the dog had consumed any of the concoction.

When the officer asked Alexander to show him the food she had been feeding the dog, she said she did not have any. She had only been feeding the animal table scraps, she said.

Alexander agreed to allow Fairfield Animal Control to pick up the dog and take it to the Adoption Center, but according to Bob Innis, Director of Fairfield County Animal Control, “the dog was in dreadful condition” when it arrived at the shelter.

“We did all we could,” Innis said last week. “We had the vet (Dr. Robert Chappell) come out, we gave it medication. We gave her a blood transfusion – her blood count was in terrible shape. When an animal is that malnourished, it affects the internal organs. In the end, we had to put her down.”

Maj. Seibles said last week that Dr. Chappell’s report stated that the dog suffered from “obvious animal neglect,” and was “severely anemic” as a result of malnutrition. The County euthanized the dog on Jan. 15.

 

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