A 35-year-old Staten Island, New York, woman could face up to two years in jail when she is sentenced next month on animal cruelty charges after she was found guilty of throwing a puppy from a car.
Alsu Ivanchenko put Snowflake, a 3-month-old Maltese mix, in a bag and left her by the side of the road to avoid a vet bill for Snowflake’s broken leg. Snowflake suffered a fractured skull as a result, the prosecution argued.
“It costs too much to get it treated,” Ivanchenko said, according to a criminal complaint, Daily Mail reported. "I couldn't afford it. So that's why I put it in the bag, and I put it on the side of the road.”
Dr. Lisa Sether, a vet with Animal Health Veterinary Group, testified at Ivanchenko’s trial that the woman was taken aback by an initial cost of $500 for X-rays and potentially thousands more in treatment, when she brought the dog to the vet on Sept. 12, 2014.
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“I feel like she was in shock,” Sether said, according to SIlive. "She looked like she never heard things would cost this much.”
“I’d describe her as very, very lethargic,” Sether said of Snowflake during the examination. "She was minimally responsive. She was laying on her side not able to move.”
Ivanchenko refused to pay the treatment cost, and also turned down a cost of $300 for humane euthanasia, Sether testified further.
“She told me she was going to try to bring it back to the pet store and get a new dog,” the vet added.
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Ivanchenko’s attorney, Matthew Myers, claimed in court that there was no evidence Ivanchenko had harmed the dog.
Myers says he plans to appeal, the New York Post reported.
“The defendant showed utter disregard for the well-being of this helpless dog,” said Daniel Master Junior, acting district attorney.
Ivanchenko was found guilty of felony aggravated cruelty to animals, overdriving, torturing and injuring animals, and abandoning animals. The latter two charges are misdemeanors.
Ivanchenko will be sentenced on Oct. 27.
Snowflake recovered from her injuries. She was renamed Pip and adopted by an owner in Manhattan, New York.