Animal Cruelty Charges Filed Against School Principal Who Let Dog’s Leg Rot and Fall Off

| by Phyllis M Daugherty

Rosa Martinez, principal at Tenney private school in Houston, Texas, said it is "unfair" that she is being charged with animal cruelty after her three small dogs were found in deplorable condition, and one dog was so neglected that an injured leg rotted and fell off.

On Monday, Martinez, 57, was arrested and charged with two counts of animal cruelty after she took the dogs to Houston's Bureau of Animal Regulation and Care. A veterinarian at the center alerted police to the condition of the animals, according to a court document.

A brown-and-tan female Maltese/poodle mix named Rainy, had only two legs. Court documents reveal that Rainy was severely malnourished and her left paw had exposed bones also. Her right rear leg appears to have rotted off after an injury which exposed about three inches of bone that went untreated. A foul odor emanated from where the leg had been, the report said. It was unclear what had happened to the dog's fourth leg.

All the dogs had thinning hair and Rainy’s hair loss was all over her mid to lower back, witnesses say. A second dog belonging to Martinez was found suffering from a chronic ear infection and chronic staph infection. A third was severely underweight and suffering from sores, according to police.

Martinez told Police Officer Suzanne Hollifield that she had "over-committed herself to work and non-profit organizations." She had "seen the dog limping but did not check on it," she told the officer, according to the NY Daily News report.

The officer also reported: "Defendant's son had seen the dog on October 11, 2013 and told Defendant he could see the dog's bone and that she needed to do something with the dog."

Martinez states that she surrendered the animals because "she was upset and realized she could not care for the dogs."

She told KTRK, "It appears to be an accident that I was not aware of. I tried to make it right," she said.

"It really upsets me," Martinez said. "I know you have to have advocates to protect them. In my case, it's not fair. I didn't do anything wrong."

Rosa Martinez posted $3,000 bond, according to the NY Daily News. She faces two years in prison if convicted.

The three dogs have been released to Red Collar Rescue to for continuing treatment