Milford woman accused of animal cruelty

MILFORD — A 36-year-old Milford woman was arrested Tuesday after her tethered dog died during dangerously hot weather last week, authorities said.

Kimberly Sterling was charged with cruelty to animals, failure to vaccinate for rabies and failure to obtain a dog license, according to Delaware Division of Public Health spokeswoman Jennifer Brestel.

The Office of Animal Welfare Animal Services Unit, which enforces statewide animal control and cruelty laws, responded to a residence following a reported dog tethered outside in the heat on July 18, authorities said. Upon arrival, officers found a dog tethered outside.

The dog was tangled in the tether, had visible injuries, and appeared to be suffering from heat stroke, according to the DPH. Officers were unable to make contact with anyone in the home.

Because the dog was in imminent danger, the DPH said, the officers cut the tether and rushed the dog to medical treatment.
The dog died while en route.

At that time, two other DAS officers had arrived at the residence where the dog resided and were able to make contact with the owner.
During their investigation, officers learned the dog had been tethered outside for several hours, the DPH said. In addition, there was no evidence of shelter, shade, or water present for the dog, according to authorities.

While on the property, officers also observed a second dog inside the residence, which was removed for medical evaluation and is being held pending the outcome of the cruelty case.

Ms. Sterling was also arraigned on Tuesday and released on her own recognizance pending a court hearing.

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