A woman who was accused of starving her dog to death was found not guilty by a Cumberland County Superior Court jury. Prosecutor Clark Reaves released a statement expressing his disappointment saying,
“I’m disappointed in the jury’s verdict. I’m sorry we didn’t get a guilty verdict.”
Stephanie Bates was arrested and charged with animal cruelty in February of 2015 after her dog Bruno was seized from her home. The dog, who was emaciated and malnourished, weighed just 33 pounds, reduced to just a skeletal frame. Prosecutor Reaves alleges that the Bates brought Bruno to the vet after he wasn’t feeling well at which point he was diagnosed with irritable bowel syndrome. The vet prescribed medicine and a highly specialized diet for Bruno
The vet prescribed medicine and a highly specialized diet for Bruno.Reaves believes this is when Bates began behaving neglectful because she could not afford the medicine nor the food for Bruno’s specialized diet. Bates then took Bruno to the Cumberland County Animal Control, after she tried to have the dog euthanized at the Reilly Road Animal Hospital, who refused.
Bruno, who by now was now emaciated with his health dimishing was refered to the Cumberland County Animal Control who immedietly opened an investigation of neglect against Bates. Unfortunately, Bruno died of cardiac arrest, after doctors tried desperately to restore him back to health. Bates was charged with felony animal cruelty, and subsequently put on trial.
Although there was ample evidence presented to the jury that Bates was neglectful, Reaves says her defense attorney brought in experts to dispute all of the prosecutoral evidence.
“It was a battle of the experts. We had two different doctors saying two different things.”