A Brighton woman accused of repeatedly injuring a 12-week-old puppy in September and October of last year pleaded guilty to animal cruelty Monday, authorities said.
Erin Renee Chartier, 22, was sentenced to three years’ probation and 300 hours of public service and will have to pay more than $2,000 in fines and court fees after she allegedly abused her boyfriend’s terrier/pit bull puppy, Ace.
She also pleaded guilty to aggravated cruelty to animals, a Class 6 felony and will receive a deferred judgement on the charge.
“The protection of animals has a direct correlation to protection of the public,” District Attorney Bruce Brown said. “People who assume responsibility for owning pets must take good care of them. This is an instance where that trust was broken.”
Chartier is required to participate in an animal cruelty evaluation and is prohibited from having contact with the dog.
The charges were brought after a local veterinarian reported Ace appeared to have been physically abused. An investigation revealed multiple vets had seen the puppy for various unexplained injuries. Ace had suffered widespread bruising, internal bleeding, bleeding in the eyes, multiple rib fractures, a broken tooth and fluid in his lungs and ears in September and October 2012.
“The abuse appeared to have happened during the times when (Chartier) was alone with the puppy,” said Summit County Sheriff’s Office spokeswoman Tracy LeClair. Authorities say Chartier was living in Summit County at the time the dog was injured, but has since moved to Brighton.
Ace was impounded until his owner, Chartier’s boyfriend who resides in Wildernest, posted a bond covering the costs of the dog’s boarding and veterinary bills.
He is not facing any charges related to the abuse.
Ace appears to have recovered from his injuries, authorities said, and has grown significantly over the last several months.
“We’re hopeful that he didn’t have any long-term damage,” LeClair said.
Chartier is also required to take an obedience class to learn how to properly discipline dogs.