A man who told 911 that he found a starving dog wrapped in a blanket in an alley has been sentenced to probation after police said he was the puppy's owner.
Vincent Currie Jr., 28, of Wichita, pleaded guilty to interference with law enforcement and cruelty to animals, both misdemeanors, District Attorney Marc Bennett said in a release. He was sentenced on Tuesday by Judge Christopher Magana to 12 months probation .
Currie could serve time in jail if he violates his probation, the release said.
That same man was later arrested when he was identified by police as the dog's owner. A friend told police that Currie had told her two months earlier that he couldn't afford to care for the animal, the release said.
The dog was found wrapped in a blanket in the alley behind Vincent's home, the release said. The puppy's bones were visible, it had suffered from multiple weeks of neglect and was severely dehydrated.
The puppy, renamed Aadya, was "skin and bones" when she was found and taken to an emergency veterinarian, police said. The dog needed surgery to remove a corn cob that became lodged in her bowels when she ate it six days earlier.
After her rescue, she could only eat a couple tablespoons of food at a time to ease her back into eating solids because of how emaciated she was. It was estimated that Aadya has gone about six months without proper food.
Magana ruled that during his one-year probation, Currie will not be allowed to own an animal.
Currie was charged with a misdemeanor, the district attorney's release said, because the abuse did not meet the law's definition of a felony.
Felony cruelty to animals is when the suspect is accused of "knowingly and maliciously killing, injuring, maiming, torturing, burning or mutilating any animal" or "knowingly and maliciously administering any poison to any domestic animal." Knowingly failing to provide food is a misdemeanor.
A 2006 Kansas animal cruelty law, dubbed "Magnum's Law" and "Scruffy's Law," stiffened penalties in animal abuse cases and made some of them felonies.
Scruffy, a Yorkshire terrier, was tortured and killed in Kansas City, Kan., in 1997. Magnum, a mixed-breed dog, was found in Wichita in 2005 with cuts, chemical burns and a broken leg.