A Mississippi woman was found guilty of animal cruelty for leaving her dog tied to a stake in the hot summer.
Nateshia Lewis Short of Natchez, Mississippi, was convicted of animal cruelty in an Adams County court on Nov. 24, MS News Now reports. She was given a suspended jail sentence and a suspended fine.
Her conviction stems from an incident in August in which she allegedly tied her dog to a stake in her yard for a long period without access to food, water or shelter.
After a neighbor reported the dog's anguished howling to police, Deputy Karren Ewing of the Adams County Sheriff's Office arrived at the house to investigate. She reportedly found the severely dehydrated animal lying in the yard in the hot sun.
"He'd dug himself a hole from struggling to get free and the rope was cutting into his neck," Ewing said.
After she freed the dog from the rope, Ewing placed the animal in a plastic kiddie pool full of water to help cool it down. She said she had to carry the dog to the pool because it had difficulty walking due to heat stroke.
"We were both attacked by a swarm of yellow jackets, but I stayed with him for two hours until he recovered enough to be transported to the Natchez Veterinary Clinic," Ewing told MS News Now.
Short was later arrested and charged with a count of simple animal cruelty.
At her sentencing in November, she was ordered to pay the animal's medical bills at the Natchez Veterinary Clinic and the Natchez Adams County Humane Society, in addition to court costs.
The dog, which shelter workers named Foster, reportedly made a full recovery and was adopted by a family.
Ewing told MS News Now the dog's ordeal was one she was all too familiar with.
"Animal Cruelty is a serious problem in Adams County and until these offenders are held accountable we will not begin to get control of the problem," she said, adding that both law enforcement officials and unpaid volunteers have spent countless hours rescuing abused animals in the community.
"We can only do so much to get justice for the animals and the rest is up to the Courts to prosecute the offenders."
About 65 percent of animal cruelty cases reported to the media in 2007 involved dogs, according to statistics published by the American Humane Society.