Statement from Janet Testerman, CEO of Young-Williams Animal Center

Earlier this year, our community shared in our sorrow and frustration as we said goodbye to Bridget. Severely neglected and then abandoned behind a dumpster, this sweet dog captured all of our hearts.

Bridget’s plight helped bring attention to the tragedy of long-term animal neglect and abuse and raised awareness for free resources and help available to pet owners. In fact, thanks to local media coverage that month, Young-Williams Animal Center had the highest-ever number of new inquiries about our assistance for pet owners in need.

Three other pets also were confiscated from Bridget’s owner and given medical care, showered with love and eventually adopted. Sadly, Bridget passed away from cancer in our care before her treatment plan could be implemented.

Friday morning, we were extremely disappointed to learn that the former owner will face only an 11-month and 29-day period of probation for her role in Bridget’s story.

Today’s court proceedings are particularly concerning as this arrangement does not prohibit the individual from owning pets once her probationary period has expired. We find it unacceptable that this allows future pets to be potentially placed in the same unsafe environment as Bridget.

We hope that additional steps can be taken to discourage the cruel and neglectful treatment of owned pets moving forward. We believe one such step is to hold owners fully accountable under the law and to seek tougher penalties for animal cruelty cases.

No animal should suffer in the care of an owner. No pet should ever suffer the way that Bridget did, especially when resources and an entire community of pet lovers are ready and available to help.

Young-Williams Animal Center is committed to raising awareness about this issue and continuing conversations about how we can further discourage animal abuse and prohibit abusers from owning pets.