Florida resident Tammy Brown may face up to five years in prison after being charged with animal cruelty. But Brown believes she is innocent of any wrongdoing, saying that money – not cruelty – is the reason for her charges.
In 2011, animal services took Brown’s dog, named Harley, and euthanized him. The 14-year-old dog had a baseball-sized growth on his neck. Animal services say the dog had been subjected to long-term neglect, and a veterinarian confirmed that the dog had many medical problems.
But Brown denies any abuse, saying that although she loved her dog dearly she simply could not afford to pay any veterinary bills. She lives on a fixed income of $508 a month, and has little money left over after paying her mortgage, utilities, and medical bills. Brown says she did all she could to help the dog, and even applied skin ointments to the growth to help ease the pain.
“I don’t want this animal cruelty charge on me,” Brown said. “I don’t deserve that. I never did anything to harm Harley ever.”
Brown reiterated that she doesn’t think it’s fair for her to be sent to jail simply because she is poor. “Should all of Pasco County go down as . . . animal cruelty just because they can’t afford to take their dog to a vet?” Brown asked. “I don’t think that’s fair."