A woman has been arrested in Florida after vets discovered evidence that she had allegedly repeatedly shot her dogs with an air rifle.
The woman, Jamie Lynn Kujawa, was arrested earlier this week after scans of two of her dogs revealed over 170 pellets embedded in their bodies.
The Hernando County Sheriff’s Office (HCSO) was alerted last month by a neighbour of Kujawa’s, who had reported hearing a BB gun (air gun) being fired followed by cries of dogs in distress.
Animal control officers paid Kujawa a visit on April 19, but were told that she didn’t own a BB gun and that the wounds visible on her three dogs’ legs and paws were the result of “fighting”.
However, Kujawa, 37, was unable to produce up-to-date vaccination certificates for her three dogs and she was given 10 days to vaccinate the dogs and provide proof of medical treatment for their injuries.
During follow-up visit the next day, a deputy noticed that all three of Kujawa’s dogs appeared to be injured.
Two of the animals appeared to have fresh wounds on their paws, the deputy said. When he tried to check the injuries, the dogs didn’t want to be touched – making it impossible for him to say for certain how they had been injured.
After a few repeat visits, Kujawa decided to surrender two of her dogs to Hernando County Animal Services.
When vets checked them over, a lead pellet was found just under the skin of one dog’s paw.
Both animals were then x-rayed, and vets found that they had been shot dozens of times.
One dog was found to have around 61 BBs and 19 lead pellets in the legs, torso and head. The second dog was found to have 71 BBs and 22 lead pellets.
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When questioned Kujawa told officers that she had used a BB gun to shoot at the dogs when they attempted to dig under the fence to get out of the yard.
Following the shocking discovery, Kujawa was arrested on multiple counts of aggravated animal cruelty. The third dog, as well as three cats, a ferret and a bird were seized by animal control officers. The report did not state their condition
In Florida, state law rules that aggravated animal cruelty is a felony of the third degree – an offence punishable by up to five years in prison, a $5000 fine, and five years of probation
Animal cruelty is a misdemeanour of the first degree – punishable by up to one year in jail, a $1000 fine, and twelve months of probation.