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Chihuahua owners charged with cruelty


A Franconia couple has been charged with animal cruelty after its 1-year-old tan-and-white chihuahua named "Justice" was found to have many broken bones and other injuries so painful that veterinarians euthanized the dog.

According to police, Crystal Stanislaus, 26, and her husband Jerry Stanislaus, 33, of the 6400 block of Franconia Road, dropped off 8-pound Justice at the Alexandria Animal Shelter in early November. As part of its routine intake, veterinarians conducted a physical that revealed extensive injuries both new and old, leaving Justice in severe pain. Animal control officers were alerted. Officer Jen Milburn asked for a necropsy--an animal autopsy--to catalog the injuries. It was performed at the Virginia Department of Agricultural Services laboratory in Warrenton. Milburn was "very astute," said police spokeswoman Lucy Caldwell.

The accused couple turned themselves in to police and were charged Thursday. They are out on bond and face up to five years in prison and a $2,500.00 fine, police said. The couple originally adopted Justice through a friend, police said, and owned no other animals.

Several area veterinarians and the Alexandria Animal Welfare League worked with police on the month-long investigation that led to the arrests.

By Mary Pat Flaherty  |  December 18, 2009; 11:38 AM ET
Categories:  Alexandria , Fairfax , Mary Pat Flaherty  
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Dirty dogs!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I have a little dog he weighs 20 pounds and I love him to death I would never do anything to hurt my baby. He is spoiled spoiled spoiled! He loves hamburger, cheese puffs and peanut butter. He also like's to dress. Some body needs to broke some of their bones.

Posted by: msthall06 | December 18, 2009 1:05 PM | Report abuse

These two should be strung up from the latest tree and their bodies left to rot!

Posted by: panamajack | December 18, 2009 1:57 PM | Report abuse

A necropsy is not an "animal autopsy".

If a dog were to examine another dog's corpse, that would be an "animal autopsy."

Posted by: web_user | December 18, 2009 1:59 PM | Report abuse

Feeding a dog cheese puffs and claiming it enjoys dressing up is animal abuse, too.

Posted by: kbockl | December 18, 2009 2:14 PM | Report abuse

Pigs. Cut off their hands. Animal cruelty is many times a precursor to moving on to people.

Posted by: jckdoors | December 18, 2009 3:11 PM | Report abuse

I wish I could be in the same room as this guy with the doors locked so I can show him the same pain he showed that poor puppy!!!!! If he did this to any of mine, I would fight back as if they were my own kids!

Posted by: crazydude | December 18, 2009 3:42 PM | Report abuse

Not so tough now, are you?

Throw the book at them.

Posted by: waterfrontproperty | December 18, 2009 5:14 PM | Report abuse

As with most animal cruelty/abuse cases, they'll doubtlessly get only a slap on the wrist...if even that.

Posted by: checkered1 | December 18, 2009 6:06 PM | Report abuse

I can't imagine hurting an animal. Those two should get the maximum sentence.

Posted by: dollenaharris | December 19, 2009 6:01 AM | Report abuse

$2500 in fines and up to 5 years in prison is the maximum for this offense? IMO, it's not enough, but it doesn't explain why a piece of garbage like Michael Vick is running around free.

Posted by: MsCynic | December 19, 2009 3:30 PM | Report abuse

This is horrific. How could anyone hurt a little dog like that?

Posted by: paul_lipscomb2 | December 23, 2009 12:37 PM | Report abuse

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