MACOMB COUNTY, MI – A Michigan woman was sentenced to six months in jail today for attempting to drown a puppy in an incident that resulted in a broken leg, fractured skull and other injuries for the dog, The Macomb Daily reports.
Amber Nicole Sunde, 26, of Shelby Township, was also sentenced to 18 months of probation following the jail sentence and is barred from owning an animal during her incarceration and probation, the newspaper reports. Sunde is also ordered to pay $641 toward the dog’s medical bills.
The sentence by Macomb Circuit Court Judge James Biernat exceeds the guidelines of probation to three months in jail; the county prosecutor’s office had recommended probation and no jail time, the report said. Sunde was ordered to report to jail on Friday.
“What she did to that dog, I was surprised the dog is alive,” Biernat said during the sentencing hearing. “The dog is truly a victim.”
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The then-6-month-old puppy Lux suffered several broken bones in his legs and a fractured skull during the January incident. Witnesses reported that Sunde threw Lux into the Clinton River several times, and the puppy crawled back to her each time only to be thrown in again. It was reported that she attempted to hold him under water at least once.
Witnesses called 911. Unica Police officers arrived on the scene, arrested Sunde and rushed Lux to medical care. One of his legs could require amputation, according to the Detroit Pit Crew Dog Rescue, which is involved in Lux’s recovery.
Lux has since been adopted by a police officer close to the case, a Pit Crew official told MLive.
Sunde pleaded guilty to third-degree killing/torturing an animal, which carries a maximum sentence of four years in prison but the Macomb County Prosecutor’s Office offered her a plea bargain that offered probation, restitution and mental healthcare care as punishment for the charge. In the end, Biernat did not follow the sentencing recommendations of the prosecutor’s office.
“This sentence is considered a victory,” the Pit Crew said in a statement posted to Facebook.
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