LIMA — A Spencerville woman charged with animal cruelty for allegedly starving a companion dog to death entered a plea of no contest Monday to a fifth-degree felony charge.
With her no contest plea, Cassandra Smith, 54, did not admit guilt in the incident but did acknowledge that the truthfulness of the facts as outlined in the indictment returned by a grand jury against her.
Assistant Allen County Prosecutor Tony Miller said the state made no concessions to convince Smith to enter the no contest plea to the indicted charge.
Smith faces up to 12 months in prison when she is sentenced Nov. 30 but is expected to be sentenced to some form of community control instead.
Following the incident, the Ohio Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals requested felony charges be filed against Smith after a dog in her care was allegedly starved and ultimately died.
On July 3, Allen County Chief Humane Agent Nick Marando removed a female black Labrador from a home and immediately transported the dog to Kessen Veterinary Clinic in Delphos. The dog weighed only 33 pounds when she should have weighed over 60.
“She was so dehydrated that the veterinarian could not draw blood from her veins,” Marando said in a prepared statement furnished by the SPCA.
Given the name of Daisy Mae by shelter staff, she was given around-the-clock care, which included fluids and small meals. Daisy Mae was perking up and starting to gain weight, but in the early morning hours of July 12 she lost the battle and had to be euthanized, according to the SPCA statement.
“We really thought this sweet dog was going to make it. Losing her is just so heartbreaking,” said Jason Asaro, Ohio SPCA shelter manager.