The woman facing charges for allegedly leaving her caged dog in a Ross County park, with writing in permanent marker on its body, is now explaining her side of the story.
According to Kendra Stafford, she owned the dog for about three months, until her landlord told her she could not keep it.
Stafford said she planned to leave the dog in Yoctangee Park, during the Feast of the Flowering Moon, with a note taped to its cage.
Her plan, however, did not transpire.
“I went to my car to go find a piece of tape, couldn’t find a piece of tape,” she explained. “I then got out a permanent marker that wasn’t supposed to be used on my dog. It was just, you know, and I wrote on her. And I wrote ‘free’ and ‘good home only,’ and then after I did that, I had that cringeworthy moment where I was just like ‘oh my gosh, I messed up, like she looks awful.”
Prior to leaving her puppy, Stafford said she turned to Craigslist, and other options to find the dog a suitable home.
“I called every shelters in, around the county, like all over Ohio, and they all said that they were full,” she said. “I called the dog warden and she said she couldn’t do anything about it at all.”
NBC4 checked with the Ross County Humane Society, the county’s only shelter, where employees said Stafford never completed a surrender application, she never stopped by the building and no one has any memory of her calling to surrender the puppy.
The Ross County Dog Warden also said she had no record of Stafford calling her office.
Stafford has been charged with abandoning an animal, cruelty to animals and failure to license a dog.
She has pleaded not guilty on those charges, and she said she plans to fight them.
“I regret writing on the dog, and I think that it was a mistake, but it was all good intentions behind it,” she said.
The puppy has since been adopted by a new family.