A second misdemeanor charge has now been filed in a local case of animal cruelty.
Kosciusko County Prosecutor Dan Hampton said late Wednesday that Laci Harper, who also goes by the name Laci Bailey, now faces two Class A misdemeanor charges of cruelty to an animal. The second charge was filed Tuesday. (See related)
Harper, 26, 107 E. Center St., Burket, was arrested Oct. 3, 11 days after her neighbor discovered two near death German Shepherd puppies tied up in her backyard. The same day Patrick Jamison took video of the puppies and posted it on Facebook to get the attention of local authorities, one of the puppies, a female, died. Jamison discovered the carcass and found that the male puppy had begun to eat his litter mate.
Kosciusko County Animal Control Officer Jerry Clase ordered a necropsy on the deceased puppy and the results confirmed it died of starvation (See related story). The second puppy was taken to the Animal Welfare League of Kosciusko County.
AWL Director Darla McCammon said the puppy was treated by at the AWL and by a veterinarian and is now in police custody where he continues to improve. Hampton said he ordered the puppy to be kept in police protection and property cared for until the case is finished, at which time the judge will make the final determination on whether the puppy be returned to Harper or permanently removed from her custody.
StaceyPageOnline.com interviewed Bailey by phone prior to the necropsy (See related story). She insisted she had not starved the puppies and said they had likely gotten the parvovirus, which is mostly fatal to dogs. When the test for parvovirus was negative, Bailey could offer no explanation for the condition of the puppies.
Class A misdemeanor charges carry a maximum penalty of 1 year in jail and a fine of $5,000.
Harper is set to appear before Kosciusko Superior Court II Judge James Jarrette at 1 p.m. Monday, Dec. 2. She was arrested last week and posted a $1,000 cash bond.