A woman accused of beating and kicking a dog and throwing it off a balcony has been charged with felony animal abuse.
Kimberly Anderson is accused of throwing, striking, choking, and causing other injuries to her Shih Tzu dog named "Roadrunner.” The attack allegedly occurred on Nov. 9 at her apartment in the 1200 block of Independence Avenue.
Roadrunner's injuries were so severe the dog had to have its eyes removed. Witnesses reported seeing Anderson wrap a dog leash around Roadrunner's neck, pull him outside, then picking the dog up and slamming it into the concrete. She then allegedly choked and kicked the dog, according to the probable cause statement.
Tori Fugate, spokesperson for KC Pet Project, the city shelter which first received Roadrunner from animal control, said the dog’s injuries were among the worst she’d seen in hundreds of suspected abuse cases.
She said staff at the shelter, and many of the more than 2 million people who’ve responded to Roadrunner’s story on Facebook, would be heartened by the charges.
“Everybody is rallying for him. Everybody I think wanted to see this day come. They wanted to see this outcome,” Fugate told 41 Action News.
After her arrest, Anderson told police the dog had escaped from her apartment and that she was unable to capture the dog before it was struck by a car. She told police she panicked and left the dog by the side of the road without medical attention.
On Wednesday night, Anderson’s fiancé Darrell Doron stood by that account, and said the two witnesses who described abuse by Anderson were “lying.”
“Kimberly is a good woman. A good animal lover,” Doron said. “She would never do nothing like this to any of her animals.”
If convicted, Anderson faces a term of two to four years in prison and a fine of up to $5,000 on the felony charge. She was also charged with a misdemeanor charge of animal abandonment.
Anderson was also ordered to give up her second dog, Pearl, something Doron said he will not allow. He said Wednesday night that dog would be sent to live with his relatives while Anderson fights the charges.
41 Action News also learned that until late August, a third dog lived with Anderson at her apartment on Independence Avenue. “Deva Queen” was a 10-month-old shepherd mix owned by Anderson and her then-boyfriend Korey Ralstin. Animal control records show the couple called animal control officers on the night of August 24 to report the dog had bitten Ralstin while he was giving it a bath.
The couple asked animal control officers to have their dog euthanized. As the city shelter, KC Pet Project is required to euthanize pets whose owners turn them over and request that step be taken, and confirmed that Deva Queen was put down soon after the incident.
Meanwhile, Roadrunner will have a much different fate. After multiple surgeries, his broken pelvis has been repaired, and a metal plate has been inserted into one of his back legs. His eyes – lost in the incident – have been sewn shut and appear to be healing well. Fugate said his foster family reports he is recovering well.
“He loves snuggling. He loves playing with other dogs. He loves playing with toys,” Fugate said. “He's really starting to just act like a normal dog.”