Updated: 07/03/2014 6:30 AM
Created: 07/02/2014 9:51 PM KSTP.com
By: Tim Sherno
A St. Paul woman is facing a felony charge of animal cruelty after allegedly abusing her dogs and leaving them in a dumpster.
In a criminal complaint filed in Ramsey County, Anna Robole is accused of kicking her dogs, taping their mouths shut, and leaving them in a dumpster behind a nearby animal hospital.
Wendy Granroos, the Hospital Manager at the Scenic Hills Animal Hospital on Burns Avenue in St. Paul, says she was taking recycling to a dumpster behind the building in early May when she discovered the animals.
"I was horrified," she said. "I was shaking."
One of the dogs was dead, and the other appeared malnourished. Gransroos says the surviving dog was anxious.
"He was very, very scared, and very, very thin," she said. "He just kind of cowered in the corner."
The complaint says Robole denied abusing the dogs but admitted that she left them in the dumpster hoping they would be discovered and rescued. She told police the dogs were both alive when she left them. She said she could no longer afford to keep the animals.
Granroos says the staff at Scenic Hills Animal Hospital wishes they had known the dogs were abandoned.
"That's still what we think about every day," she said. "If we would have known they were there, we could have possibly saved the one that passed away."
Keith Streff, the Senior Humane Officer at the Animal Humane Society of Golden Valley, says there is no reason to dump an animal.
"There are a variety of options available for people who own animals if they can't care for them, if they can't afford them, if they don't want them," he said. "There are many better options."
Steff points out that there are five Humane Society locations in five metro counties that receive dogs. He says there is a fee to accept a dog, but in cases of hardship that fee can be reduced or waived.
If convicted, Robole could face two years in prison and/or $4,000 in fines.