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.
Mary Pat Flaherty
December 18, 2009; 11:38 AM ET
Categories: Alexandria , Fairfax , Mary Pat Flaherty
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