Case Snapshot
Case ID: 18534
Classification: Neglect / Abandonment, Throwing
Animal: dog (non pit-bull)
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Tuesday, Aug 23, 2011

County: Delaware

Charges: Summary, Misdemeanor
Disposition: Alleged

Alleged: LaMonica M. Sims

A Muncie woman accused of dumping two "extremely emaciated" dogs from her moving vehicle Aug. 23 was formally charged Wednesday with two misdemeanor criminal charges.

LaMonica M. Sims, 30, 1008 N. Bellaire Ave., is charged in Muncie City Court with two counts of cruelty to an animal, both Class A misdemeanors carrying maximum one-year jail terms.

Phil Peckinpaugh, director of Muncie's Animal Rescue Fund organization -- which has been taking care of the dogs since the incident -- said Wednesday he was pleased with the progress in the case.

"We're extremely happy," Peckinpaugh said. "If the right woman has been found, it's a big victory for the animals and us. We don't get a lot of victories like this."

The charges against Sims followed an investigation by the Muncie Police Department's criminal investigations division.

According to Peckinpaugh, a resident on East Manor Street witnessed a woman driving a blue Buick Rendezvous throw two Shih Tzu dogs out of her moving vehicle about 8:45 a.m. on Aug. 23.

The witness, who rushed to the aid of the dogs, was unable to get the license plate number of the Rendezvous, Peckinpaugh said.

The dogs - named Tate and Lyle by ARF staff, but referred to as Monique and Gizmo in Wednesday's court documents - were taken to Care Animal Hospital, where it took staff about four hours to shave down their heavily matted fur, Peckinpaugh said.

Vets also determined one of the dogs had recently suffered a broken leg, an injury for which its owner apparently did not seek medical attention.

Muncie police Capt. Mark Vollmar said last week that police received tips from callers about the identity of the alleged dog dumper after a related article appeared in The Star Press.

Investigators turned over their case to the Delaware County prosecutor's office on Tuesday.

Deputy Prosecutor Eric Hoffman said Sims would not be arrested because her charges are misdemeanors and her alleged actions did not take place in front of police officials.

Instead, Sims will receive a summons to appear in Muncie City Court at a date to be determined.

Court records reflect no prior charges or convictions for Sims.

As for the dogs, Peckinpaugh said the condition of Tate and Lyle - or Monique and Gizmo - has improved dramatically since Aug. 23.

The dogs were even adopted from ARF in recent days, but Peckinpaugh said they have since been returned.

"They obviously have some emotional baggage," he said.

ARF has since received several other adoption applications for the canines, Peckinpaugh said, and his staff has been sifting through those papers looking for the perfect owners.

"We're really confident we'll get them in a good home," he said.


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