ROSS CO., Ohio (WCMH) – The woman facing charges for allegedly leaving her caged dog with writing in permanent marker on its body in a Ross County park is now explaining her side of the story.
According to Kendra Stafford, she owned the dog for about three months until her landlord told her she could not keep it.
Stafford said she planned to leave the dog in Yoctangee Park during the Feast of the Flowering Moon with a note taped to its cage.
Her plan, however, did not transpire.
“I went to my car to go find a piece of tape, couldn’t find a piece of tape,” she explained. “I then got out a permanent marker — that wasn’t supposed to be used on my dog, it was just, you know — and I wrote on her. And I wrote ‘free’ and ‘good home only,’ and then after I did that, I had that cringe-worthy moment where I was just like, ‘Oh my gosh, I messed up,’ like, ‘She looks awful.’”
Before leaving her puppy, Stafford said she turned to Craigslist and other options to find the dog a suitable home.
“I called every shelter around the county, like, all over Ohio and they all said that they were full,” she said. “I called the dog warden and she said she couldn’t do anything about it at all.”
NBC4 checked with the Ross County Humane Society, the county’s only shelter. Employees said Stafford never completed a surrender application, she never stopped by the building and no one has any memory of her calling to surrender the puppy.
The Ross County dog warden also said she has no record of Stafford calling her office.
Stafford has been charged with abandoning an animal, cruelty to animals and failure to license a dog.
She has pleaded not guilty on those charges and said she plans to fight them.
“I regret writing on the dog and I think that it was a mistake, but it was all good intentions behind it,” she said.
The puppy has since been adopted by a new family.