Two Charged with Animal Abandonment
By Jacob Mathias
Two Wisconsin Rapids residents face multiple misdemeanors after leaving a dog locked in an empty house.
Nicole Boutwell, 28, and Fredrick Williams, 33, are both charged with intentionally abandoning an animal, intentionally providing improper animal shelter and sanitation and failing to provide food and drink to a confined animal. All three charges are misdemeanors, each with a maximum sentence of up to nine months imprisonment, or a $10,000 fine or both if convicted.
Both pleaded not guilty to all counts at their initial appearance in Wood County Circuit Court on November 2.
According to the criminal complaint, a Wood County Sheriff’s deputy was dispatched to a home on the 3300 block of Hwy. 73 in the Town of Seneca after receiving reports of an abandoned dog.
When the deputy arrived, he could hear a dog which seemed in distress. Upon speaking with the property’s landlord, he learned that Boutwell and Williams were the most recent lessees.
The landlord said he’d been coming to the house for a week and was unable to locate anyone. He thought the dog had been inside the house all week.
The deputy entered the home and found a dog confined to the small entryway space with no food or water. He reported the dog had defecated on the floor numerous times and it was sticky with urine and it was clear no one had cleaned up after the dog for several days.
There was also no bedding or other provision on which the dog could lie down.
The deputy attempted to reach the defendants but was unable. He eventually found Boutwell’s facebook page with a posting to sell the dog because she was moving.
Both Williams and Boutwell are free on a $500 signature bond and are to possess no animals.
They both return to court on December 4 at 9:00 AM for a pretrial conference.