Wiggins woman gets jail time for aggravated animal cruelty

WIGGINS, MS (WDAM) - A Wiggins woman will spend thirty days in jail as part of sentence for two charges of aggravated animal cruelty.

Back in December of last year Wiggins Animal Control Officer Melanie Roe was dispatched to the home of Robin West for a welfare check on a dog at West's home. When she got there she found a severely emaciated Golden Retriever in a filthy pen. The only source of food was the carcass of a dead dog that was caged up with it.

"I wasn't expecting to see what I saw," said Roe. "I found Bentley who had no hair, it was 28-degrees that morning. He was shaking and very weak and just skin and bones. He also had open wounds on him."

Bentley was taken to the Animal Care Clinic of Wiggins where he has been under the care of Dr. Warren Martin and his staff. Roe said in the three-years she has been an animal control officer she has never seen an animal in as bad of shape as he was.

"He's beautiful, I mean I really didn't think he would make it. He has a heart of gold. He's fought hard to be here and he has so much love for somebody to do this to him and to still be happy."

Wiggins Police arrested West in December. Last week she pled guilty in Wiggins Municipal Court. In addition to the 30-days in jail, she will have to serve 11-months on probation and was ordered to pay $5030 in fines and restitution. Roe and Wiggins Police Chief Matt Barnett are pleased to see West get jail time.

"It's a shame it's a misdemeanor," said Barnett. "I was happy at the outcome in court. Now that we have a conviction we plan on presenting it to some state legislators and see if we can get abuse like this to be a felony."

Thanks to the care he got at the vet, four-year-old Bentley is now a healthy and happy dog. This past Saturday he was adopted and has gone to live with a new loving family.

West was supposed to have turned herself in to the Wiggins Police to start her jail term by 5 p.m. Friday, but late Thursday afternoon they say she has appealed her sentence and the case will now be heard in the Stone County Circuit Court.

Copyright 2014 WDAM. All rights reserved.