A West Philly woman was fined $750 and prohibited from owning a pet for 90 days after she let a German Shepherd starve to death, the PSPCA announced Monday.
Jamie Rutledge, 30, was convicted of animal cruelty Monday in absentia after she did not appear in court to fight the charges.
The PSPCA received a tip about a dead dog being found at Rutledge's residence on North Ithan Street on Jan. 9.
"The dog, which appeared to be in an emaciated condition, was brought back the PSPCA’s headquarters where a necropsy was performed, confirming the cause of death as starvation," the PSPCA said in a press release. "Rutledge told the PSPCA that she was afraid of the dog and stopped feeding it."
PSPCA CEO Jerry Buckley decried the punishment for Rutledge as inadequate.
“While we feel satisfied that the offender will face some penalty, it is clear in this case that the punishment does not fit the crime," Buckley said in a statement. "When an animal suffers, and ultimately dies, the responsible parties need to be held accountable for their actions. Such a minimal penalty is not much of a deterrent to others who may be inclined toward cruelty.”