By next month, Joy C. McDonald of Lafayette County, Missouri has to come up with a criminal defense strategy for combating charges of causing a chicken to die of a heart attack. On April 5, 2012, the police were called to the Lafayette County home of one George Gamblin. They found one white and dead chicken which had apparently suffered a heart attack after being scared by the neighbor's dogs.
Gamblin's wife had found their neighbor's Chihuahuas in the pen and chased them out. The dogs ran back to their own home across the fence.
Before the police arrived on the scene, Gamblin had called the neighbor – 29 year old Joy C. McDonald, and complained that her dog was barking at them and had caused the pet chicken's death. She hung up on Gamblin, but afterwards told the police that she had offered Gamblin $30 as compensation for the dead chicken.
Gamblin refused and is pursuing criminal charges. The court document accuses the two dogs of killing the chicken. The dogs are named Peaces and Domino. The dogs are blamed for killing the chicken, but court documents do not say how the chicken died. It does appear that the dogs attacked the chicken which may have died of stress and a heart attack because the dogs were barking in close proximity.
But the dogs' owner now faces animal abuse charges for letting her dogs roam free and causing a nuisance to others. McDonald had her first court hearing earlier this month, where she expected to plead guilty, pay a fine and be done with it.
Instead, the Lafayette County Court judge insisted she fully understand the severity of the charges against her and set another date for a second hearing next month. The charges are serious, and she could be facing jail time for up to one year or a $1,000 fine, or both.
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