Potential sentence could differ for animal cruelty charges

By  | 

AUGUSTA COUNTY, Va. (WHSV)— Betsy G. Hemp was charged with six felony counts of animal cruelty on Thursday in connection with the deaths of six puppies in Augusta County.

Tim Maritn, Augusta County Commonwealth's Attorney, said each of those charges could bring a sentence from zero to five years, but there are different factors that would affect the exact sentence in a situation like this.

"The things that weigh in are the things that weigh in on every case,” Martin said. “So, the particular facts of the case, but also the person's criminal history. So those two things will weigh in on this one just like any other."

Martin also said when it comes to animal cruelty cases different rules apply for different types of animals and whether you're preventing animals from suffering or causing it.

"In a case like this, what we see is a situation where the animal's suffering was caused,” Martin said. “I think we've all gone through that sad experience of euthanizing a pet, and that's heartbreaking. That's not what this was."

Martin said his office takes animal cruelty cases very seriously.