COVINGTON—District Attorney Warren Montgomery announced that Lynette Victor, 51, of Slidell, pleaded guilty Tuesday (June 30) to aggravated cruelty to animals in a case involving a dog named Buddy.
District Judge Raymond S. Childress sentenced Victor to seven years in the Department of Corrections, which was suspended, three years of probation, a $5,000 fine, and restitution for veterinary expenses. Victor also is prohibited from owning any animals during the duration of her probation, and he ordered a mental health evaluation and any recommended treatment. The charge does not carry mandatory jail time, and the judge has discretion to sentence a first-time offender to probation.
“We are happy that we achieved justice in this case,” Montgomery said. “We were all outraged, as you were, by the criminal mistreatment of Buddy, which is why we pursued the most serious charge warranted by the facts of the case. We appreciate the judge’s order that the defendant may not own or possess an animal as a part of her sentence. We also urge would-be pet owners to consider the major responsibilities of owning and taking care of a pet properly before bringing a pet into your life. We are thankful for the tremendous community support and concern for Buddy, who is now doing well.”
Victor was arrested in September 2019, after Buddy, a mixed Dachshund-Chihuahua, was discovered, abandoned in a trailer park, suffering from severe malnutrition and internal parasites, and missing his two hind legs. Victor told investigators that the dog, who belonged to her daughter, had been shot by an unknown person in February and had begun dragging his legs. The mother and daughter took him to a veterinarian but were not able to afford the recommended treatment, and the veterinarian sent them home with prescribed medication and instructions to wrap the dog’s legs. The daughter created a “Go Fund Me” campaign to assist with the dog’s medical care but was unable to generate any funding.
The mother admitted that, since the dog belonged to her daughter, she required her daughter to take care of him. The daughter claimed she must have bandaged the dog’s legs too tightly, causing them to fall off.
Buddy, who has a new family, has recovered from his injuries and is mobile, thanks to a special wheelchair.