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NORTH UNION TOWNSHIP (KDKA) — A Fayette County woman is facing charges, accused of stealing a tiny puppy from the front porch of a home, injuring it and then refusing to return the dog to her family.
State police have charged 18-year-old Kizzy Smith of Uniontown with animal cruelty, animal neglect, theft by unlawful taking and receiving stolen property.
The incident started at a home on Johnston Avenue in North Union Township back on Feb. 8.
Gary Harrison, of North Union Township, said he put his 9-week-old Chihuahua mix, Ginger, out on his front porch for a few minutes. When he went to bring her in, she was gone. Harrison started looking for the pup, but had no luck.
“We searched for five hours. We put it on Facebook,” Harrison said.
Harrison says word spread and leads started coming in.
Investigators say Smith took Ginger, then took the dog with her to work and posted a message on Facebook about needing someone to watch an injured dog while she was working.
Police say someone replied to the posting, saying they would take the dog in, but was unaware it had been stolen.
The victim’s family also posted to Facebook about Ginger getting lost, which lead officials to identify the dog as stolen.
Police say they contacted Smith, but she refused to return Ginger or tell anyone where she was. Eventually, the person who was watching the dog for Smith, turned Ginger over to her owner.
One of Ginger’s owners, 58-year-old Peggy Harrison, also of Uniontown, took the dog to the veterinarian, where it was determined her front left leg was broken. Police determined the injury happened while the dog was in Smith’s care.
Gary called Smith asking for an explanation. Smith allegedly said the dog slipped out of her hands.
Ginger’s leg should be healed in four to six weeks, but the vet bill to get Ginger on the mend is up to $450.
KDKA’s Ross Guidotti reached out to Smith and stopped by her apartment, but no one answered.
Smith is scheduled to have a preliminary hearing in April.