UPDATE: Nicole Spatig
WOMAN GETS PROBATION IN DOG’S STARVATION DEATH
by Bill Vidonic, Beaver County Times
BEAVER, PA — A former Beaver resident who allowed her German shepherd to starve to death inside its cage last year will spend a year on probation.
Nicole Spatig, 22, pleaded no contest to a single count of cruelty to animals for the death of her dog, Mya, which was found in Spatig’s former residence in Beaver on Dec. 13. Beaver police said it was one of the worst cases of animal abuse they’d ever seen.
Spatig’s plea means she is not admitting the allegations against her, but accepts the facts as they were filed against her by prosecutors.
Beaver police said the dog may have been dead for several weeks before it was discovered by Spatig’s landlord at the time. The dog was found with her snout and teeth intertwined around bars of the cage. Police said the dog may have tried to chew her way out of the cage, having no food, possibly for several weeks.
The landlord also found four cats in the garbage- and feces-filled apartment; the cats were taken by a Humane Society of Beaver County animal officer.
Spatig told police last year that she had medical problems, and had been staying on and off with her parents. She also said she believed that an ex-boyfriend, who wasn’t named, was caring for the animals.
Beaver County Assistant District Attorney Frank Martocci said Spatig did not have a prior criminal record, and for the cruelty charge, “That’s what was legal” for the punishment.
Martocci said the district attorney’s office did not make a recommendation on Spatig’s sentence, and Knafelc told Spatig before he sentenced her that her fate was solely in his hands.
Beaver Police Chief Dan Madgar said of the sentence, “The police department did its job, and it was up to the court to make a determination (on Spatig’s punishment), and we have to live with it.”
Spatig refused to comment Tuesday morning. She briefly locked herself in a restroom in the basement of the county courthouse when approached by reporters from The Times and WPXI-TV.
Spatig has not said where she lives now; her address in court records is listed as the public defender’s office in the county courthouse. She previously told The Times she no longer lives in Beaver County.
Spatig’s case has received extraordinary attention, some of it rather intense.
Spatig is prominently featured on the Web site “People You’ll See in Hell.” Other Web sites called for Spatig to be locked in a cage herself.
Previously, the district attorney’s office said it was investigating threats made against Spatig. District Attorney Anthony Berosh also said that his office received phone calls and e-mails about the case. Nearly two weeks after the dog was found, animal activists held a candlelight vigil in a Beaver park.
So how about that, we’re famous. Today The Beaver County Times, tomorrow The New York Times! Thanks to KathyK for pointing me to this article.
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