dog trainer given 1 year probation after starving dog | Tennessee News

JOHNSON CITY, Tenn. (AP) — A Tennessee dog trainer was sentenced to a year of probation Friday after pleading guilty to aggravated animal abuse in the starvation death of an animal in his care, Johnson City Press reported.

In court on Friday, Andrew Hunigan apologized to the owners of the 8-month-old bull terrier named Dallas, saying he never intended to hurt the dog and didn’t notice he was in medical distress.

Washington County Criminal Court Judge Lisa Rice dismissed that claim, saying, “Obviously Dallas needed nutrition or medical attention. The circumstances of this animal were horrific.

The University of Tennessee Veterinary School autopsy report says Dallas died of starvation and dehydration. The report showed the dog had 0% body fat and no food in the gastrointestinal tract.

The dog lost half his body weight in the five weeks he was with Hunigan, officials said. Dallas stayed in practice for so long, supposedly because he didn’t understand potty training.

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Defense attorney Daniel Boyd also told the judge a necropsy showed Dallas had hydrocephalus, which could have led to behavioral issues that prompted Hunigan to extend the dog’s training time. two to five weeks.

Hunigan was sentenced to a year in prison, but was given the option of probation as he has no criminal history. If he successfully completes this term, he can have the conviction expunged from his record.

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