Woman Assigned Essay as Punishment for Mistreating, Killing 7 Dogs


The thought of being left in a hot car makes this puppy sad.
  • The thought of being left in a hot car makes this puppy sad.
Everyone says that high school never really ends. It turns out that the aphorism is true, as proven by the legal punishment doled out this morning to Mary Wild, a professional dog handler from Arnold.

Wild's job was to transport and show prize-winning canines. Last June, she left eight dogs in a van overnight after returning from a show in Iowa. Seven of them died of heat exposure, when temperatures inside the van reached more than 120 degrees.

A Jefferson County judge found Wild guilty last month of eight counts of misdemeanor animal abuse, the maximum punishment for which is 8 years in prison and an $8,000 fine.

Today, at her sentencing, she was told that to make amends for her crime, she would be required to write a 750-word essay on how the heat had affected the dogs and what she should have done instead, along with 80 hours of community service at the Jefferson County animal control center and two years of probation.

Wild, 25, said that she left the dogs in the van in her driveway after returning from a dog show because the garage at her mother and stepfathers' house was too hot, and she didn't put them in the backyard because her parents' seven Malamutes don't get along with other dogs. She also declined to put them in the house's basement because she didn't want the dogs' barking to bother her mom.

Well, let's hope that her mom at least deigns to proofread Wild's essay to do her part in making up for the death of the Dalmation, Malamute, Akita and Siberian husky and three golden retrievers left in the car overnight.

To top it all off, Wild testified that while the dogs spent the night in the van, she slept inside the air conditioned house with her two Chihuahuas.