A Virginia woman who tied up her dog and allowed it to be killed by fleas was sentenced to six months in jail after being convicted of animal cruelty.
Josefina Baldera Solis had tied her dog, Golden, to his dog house and left him there, authorities said. A concerned neigbor had called animal control after noticing the listless pup was teeming with fleas.
A necropsy determined that Golden died of anemia, meaning the fleas had drained the animal's blood, WTVR-TV reported Wednesday.
"It was an astonishing amount of fleas on the dog," said Prince George County Animal Control supervisor Job Greene, according to the station. "The doctor had never seen a dog with that many fleas before."
The mixed-breed mutt had been tied up before, neighbor Amanda Hios said, but on one September day, Golden cried so long and so hard that Hios called county authorities.
"That dog was crying for at least eight hours," she said. "I have never heard an animal so sad in my life."
The Animal Control officer who responded to the call was covered in fleas herself as she attended the lethargic dog, who couldn't move. The woman wrapped Golden in a blanket and drove the animal to a vet's, but the dog died in the car, the station reported.
Authorities say they don't know how long the suffering dog had been tied up.