A Florida woman faces animal cruelty charges after police say she repeatedly slammed a backpack stuffed with a mother Chihuahua and her three puppies into bar tables and benches.
Teresa Gardner, 27, of Pompano Beach, was arrested Sunday morning after witnesses reported she put the family of tiny pets ― three 4-week-old puppies and their mother ― into the backpack and slammed it repeatedly onto tables and benches at Briny Irish Pub, according to NBC Miami.
The Chihuahuas were “shaking and tormented” after their ordeal, according to an arrest report obtained by CBS Miami. Authorities took them to an animal shelter, where they are recovering.
Gardner’s actions “tormented and deprived the animals of necessary oxygen as she transported the animals in a cruel and inhumane manner,” the police report said.
“I didn’t do that,” Gardner screamed during a court hearing Monday on charges of tormenting animals and resisting arrest, according to WPLG-TV. Court officials reportedly cut off her mic after the outburst.
A Broward County judge ordered Gardner not to have any contact with pets if she raises $1,000 bond for release from jail.
The Chihuahuas were being treated at Broward County Animal Care and Adoption Center in Fort Lauderdale, according to spokeswoman Lisa Mendheim.
“Mom’s a little bit traumatized right now and scared,” Mendheim told the Florida Sun-Sentinel. “So far, so good with the puppies. They’re here under observation right now.”
Mendheim said she didn’t know what would become of the dogs once they’re cleared. “They’re just here in safekeeping right now,” she said.