FAYETTEVILLE, N.C. (WNCN) – A Cumberland County Superior Court jury convicted a woman Monday of cruelty to animals after she appealed a district court’s conviction.
Jessica Nichole Canada’s 45-day sentence was suspended by Chief Superior Court Judge Jim Ammons. She was placed under five years unsupervised probation and she must complete 48 hours of community service at the Cumberland County Animal Control shelter.
Canada must also pay $1,182 in fees and court costs.
Monday’s conviction also prevents her from owning pets, Cumberland County authorities confirmed.
In May, Cumberland County Animal Control found an abandoned dog behind Canada’s Spring Lake home.
The black lab/German shepherd mix named Gino was surrendered to authorities weighing just 26 pounds. A normal weight of such a dog is 50 pounds.
Canada’s conviction marks the first jury trial in Cumberland County for animal cruelty, authorities said.
“We are doing what we can in Cumberland County to stop animal cruelty. I want to advise our citizens to contact us if they suspect animal cruelty. If we hear about a cruelty issue, we are going to investigate and if it leads to charges, we will get these offenders into court and convicted when guilty,” said Animal Control Director Dr. John Lauby.
If you suspect animal cruelty, contact Animal Control at 910-321-6852; during evening hours and weekends, call the Cumberland County Sheriff’s Office at 910-321-1500.