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      Woman accused of killing one dog, nearly killing another

      Sheila was emaciated when she was brought to the SPCA.

      A Tompkins County woman is accused of killing one dog, and nearly killing another.

      The SPCA of Tompkins County says Christina Carpenter, of Nob Hill Road, starved one dog to death, then gave up her second dog to the SPCA. The surviving Dachshund was named Sheila, but her foster family has been calling her Stella. The SPCA says she was in an emaciated state when Carpenter surrendered her and she needed extensive veterinary care. She is now recovering in foster care and is not available for adoption yet.

      "She was so scared, and so skinny. I was drawn to her and I spent quite a bit of time with her that first day, trying to get a sweater on her because she was cold," said Karla Munroe, who is taking care of Stella right now. "Then when I had the opportunity to foster her, it wasn't a hard decision."

      SPCA Executive Director Jim Bouderau says, "It is heartbreaking to see any instance of animal abuse. While we receive no direct funding from local governments for investigating acts of cruelty, the work of our humane investigators is at the core of what we do. Stopping abuse, neglect and outright cruelty is one of our highest priorities."

      Carpenter is charged with two counts of failure to provide proper sustenance. She was arraigned in Newfield Town Court late last month. She will be back in court Thursday afternoon.

      Last year, the Tompkins SPCA fielded more than 1,500 phone calls on cruelty. It investigated more than 400 cases, and seized more than 100 animals.

      "People don't like to think it happens in their community, but it does all the time and it's just something people need to be aware of," said Bouderau. "Publicizing these cases is the only way we can bring it to the forefront so people know it happens and makes sure it doesn't happen again."

      The SPCA does not recieve money from local or the state government for animal cruelty investigations so it relies on dwindling donations and grants to do the work.

      If you would like to learn how to donate to the SPCA please click here.