Woman accused of killing puppies indicted on charges of animal cruelty

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AUGUSTA COUNTY, Va. (WHSV) — UPDATE (May 28):

Betsy Hemp, the woman accused of shooting and killing a litter of puppies and then dumping them over an embankment in Augusta County, was indicted on six counts of animal cruelty on Tuesday.

Hemp, who allegedly shot six puppies after advertising them for sale and contacting the SPCA just before Christmas, is not allowed to have contact with any animals until after her case has been resolved and had to find other homes for other dogs on her property.

According to Augusta County Commonwealth's Attorney Tim Martin, she admitted to killing the dogs and then dumping their remains over an embankment on the side of Troxel Gap Road between Middlebrook and Craigsville.

Investigators determined the dogs were between four and six months old when they were killed in the week before Christmas.

A grand jury on May 28 certified six charges of felony animal cruelty and six misdemeanor counts of illegal dumping against Hemp, according to the Commonwealth's Attorney's office.

Court records show she is scheduled for a trial in September. Each charge of animal cruelty brings the possibility of five years in prison if she is convicted.

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UPDATE (May 7):

Betsy Hemp, the Augusta County woman accused of killing a litter of puppies just before Christmas last year, had a preliminary hearing in Augusta County General District Court Tuesday afternoon.

Hemp was arrested in December for allegedly shooting and killing six puppies and then dumping them over a steep embankment off a back road.

Augusta County Commonwealth's Attorney Tim Martin said her case was certified, meaning probable cause was found.

He said the next step is to send her case to the grand jury, who will decide whether to indict her on charges of animal cruelty.

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Betsy Hemp appeared in Augusta County General District Court on Tuesday. She is facing animal cruelty charges after allegedly killing six puppies in December.

On Tuesday, the Augusta County Commonwealth's Attorney filed a motion. They argued that Hemp should not be allowed to have any contact with companion animals during her trial process.

Tim Martin, Augusta County Commonwealth's Attorney, argued Hemp had admitted to killing the dogs, even after she had allegedly advertised them for sale and contacted the SPCA.

The judge agreed, saying that Hemp was not allowed to have contact with any animals until after the matter had been resolved. He gave Hemp 24 hours to find a new home for the nine dogs currently on her property.

Hemp is accused of shooting and killing six puppies and then dumping their remains over an embankment on the side of Troxel Gap Road between Middlebrook and Craigsville.

Another preliminary hearing date has been set for April 9. Hemp remains free on a $2,500 bond.

WHSV attempted to speak with Hemp, but she declined comment.