Appomattox County dog abuse case ends in one year sentence

On Wednesday in Appomattox County General District Court, a woman was sentenced to serve one year of jail time on dog abuse charges in accordance with a plea agreement. 

Emily Rebecca Hubbard, 37, of Lynchburg, pleaded guilty to seven misdemeanors involving her Sept. 13 arrest for violations taking place on the 1100 block of Piney Mountain Road. 

One dog was found dead and 19 others, living in what Appomattox County Sheriff Barry Letterman said at the time were "unfit conditions," were rescued and taken to the Lynchburg Humane Society. 

Appomattox County Commonwealth's Attorney Les Fleet said the charge for which Hubbard received the one-year term was for a dog that had suffered "horrendous" gashes. 

In addition to the one year active sentence, Hubbard received 12 months suspended time on each of the other six charges, totaling six years. 

Hubbard was facing a total of 20 charges in regard to animal abuse or torture but 13 were dropped in the plea deal. Six felonies were reduced to misdemeanors to match the one misdemeanor already in place.

Wednesday's hearing was a short turnaround with the case wrapping up just over a month since the arrest. Fleet said he wanted to come to a speedy conclusion for the sake of the surviving dogs. 

"The Lynchburg Humane Society said that as long as the case is continuing, they can’t adopt these animals out," Fleet said. "And with 18 dogs, they need to adopt them out because they’re full of animals there at the Humane Society. I worked out a deal that turned out the way it did so that it could be disposed of yesterday.” 

“I also had the judge put in the order that all the dogs seized from her property were forfeited to the Lynchburg Humane Society, so that way the Humane Society now has custody of them and they can adopt them out," Fleet continued. 

A misdemeanor was assessed in the case of the deceased dog because Fleet said the veterinarian was unable to determine the age of the dog or its official cause of death. 

In order to prevent a future similar situation, the court ruled that Hubbard will no longer be permitted to own any more companion animals. 

Online court records show that Hubbard pleaded guilty Oct. 8 in Lynchburg Circuit Court to a misdemeanor cruelty to animals charge and received a 12-month suspended sentence along with fines and restitution payments for a March incident in which a dog was reportedly found strangling on a tether. The dog survived.