Augusta Woman Avoids Jail Time in Puppy Killing Case
AUGUSTA COUNTY, Va. (WVIR) - An Augusta County woman who shot and killed six puppies and dumped their bodies will not spend any time behind bars.
A judge handed down 500 hours of community service and a $1,500 fine for 40-year-old Betsy Hemp. She was found guilty of 12 animal cruelty related misdemeanors in September, but was found not guilty of felony torture charges.
Hemp took the stand on Thursday describing how the dogs were scared as she took the puppies one-by-one from a box, shot them with a rifle, and put them back in the box with the other dogs. She also said she dumped the animals on Troxel Gap Road in Middlebrook so that wildlife would get them instead of going after farmers' livestock.
Hemp told the court she couldn't afford the dogs and was angry that agencies wouldn't help her surrender the animals. According to testimony from last month's trial, Hemp said she contacted the SPCA and the Shenandoah Valley Regional Animal Services Center. The SPCA was full and the SVASC would not take them without her son's permission, since he was the legal owner of the dogs.
Investigators determined the dogs were between four and six months old when they were killed.
Hemp said on Thursday that she wishes she would have just kept the dogs.