A Springfield woman has been accused of placing a living dog in a trash bag for composting after not feeding it or providing proper care.
Tracy Brown, 53, faces two counts of animal cruelty. She appeared in Clark County Municipal Court on Friday morning, but her case was continued because she requested a public defender.
Brown allegedly called Springfield police dispatchers to find out how to dispose of a dead dog, according to court records. She had placed the dog, named Ledo, outside and he had started to smell, Brown allegedly told dispatchers.
Dispatchers contacted Springfield public works crews to pick up the animal at Brown’s house. When they got to the city’s compost center on Dayton Road on Dec. 5 and opened the trash bag, they discovered that Ledo was alive, according to court documents.
“I observed a male, brown boxer mix dog still breathing lying next to the bag that he was placed in,” officer Beth Hollingsworth wrote in an affidavit. “The dog was severely emaciated and had an obvious infection in his right eye. The animal’s breathing was slow and labored, however, he was clearly alive. The dog attempted to lift his head and moved his right front leg as we approached him.”
The documents said authorities shot Ledo because the dog was in too much pain.
“The dog had a severely infected eye and the dog smelled of decay at the time of presentation even though it had only been deceased for just a short period of about 20 minutes,” Humane Agent Krista Hawke said in an affidavit. “This is not enough time for the decaying process to begin and smell to be present due to death. This indicates the dog’s body was in the process of decay while still alive.”
Brown told the Springfield News-Sun she cared for Ledo like a child and that she loved the animal.
“We’ve had that dog ever since it was four weeks old,” Brown said.
Brown claimed Ledo got sick a few days before she placed him in the bag, having a seizure and not eating, drinking or moving.
She doesn’t believe charges are warranted because she believed she was following the dispatchers instructions, although she acknowledged Ledo was still breathing when she placed him in the trash bag.
“I would never, ever mistreat an animal,” Brown said.