Woman Accused of Beating Her Dog Pleads Guilty to Animal Cruelty

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UPDATE: Donahue was sentenced to 30 days in jail and must pay a $750 fine plus court costs.

PLAINS TOWNSHIP -- The woman accused of repeatedly beating her dog pleaded guilty in court on Tuesday to a summary offense of animal cruelty.

Video of Karissa Donahue, 31, kicking and punching a whimpering German Shepherd was used in court.

"That dog didn't do anything wrong," neighbor Katie Smith said.

Donahue did face criminal animal cruelty charges, but those were dropped as part of an agreement with the Luzerne County SPCA. Those charges could be filed again if Donahue breaks the deal.

Humane officers said the video played a huge role in court.

"At the end of the day, I did the legal legwork but without that video, without those people turning that video in, we had nothing," said Savi Reardon, a humane officer for the Luzerne County SPCA.

Donahue is applying for an intermediate punishment through the Luzerne County Probation Office, which means she could face jail time, house arrest, and/or fines.

"What's a fine? That's a penny thing! They should start changing the law for beating an animal. It's like a human," neighbor Robert Green said.

Neighbors in Plains Township said Donahue deserves a harsh sentence and jail time.

"I think she should just go to jail, in my opinion. She should just go to jail for the rest of her life for animal cruelty," Smith said.

The German Shepherd is doing fine physically but is still in the care of the Luzerne County SPCA.


  • Disgusted

    This lady should be locked away. She’s a disgusting excuse for a human being. Anyone who can do things like that should go to hell.

  • Writer Girl

    What could this dog possibly have done to warrant kicking and punching? The problem is with this woman, not the dog. I hope this is realized at sentencing. PA needs to change its’ laws and attitudes regarding animals. I hope she isn’t going to get this dog back or own any other animal. I wonder how she’d feel if someone did this to her?

  • Joseph F Cerminaro

    This just gives me a sick stomach to see abuse like this. The woman needs therapy to find under lining problems why she felt it necessary to take her frustrations out on that beautiful, innocent dog. I hope he gets a good home with lots of TLC he is going to need it after thus horrible ordeal.

  • GTX

    I hope the punishment fits the crime. Our animal cruelty laws are far to lenient. Mandatory jail time not less than 1 year. And you never own an animal again.

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