In a bizarre and sad story out of Billerica, a woman is facing felony animal abuse and cruelty charges after authorities removed a morbidly obese pot-bellied pig from her home. If convicted, the woman could spend years in jail and be ordered to pay thousands of dollars in fines.
Billerica resident Megan Caterino is in hot water for allowing her pot-bellied pig Maybelle to become dangerously obese. When authorities removed the pig from Caterino’s property, Maybelle weighed 196 pounds, which is roughly twice what a healthy pig should weigh. The poor pig was so large that she could not support her body weight and move around. She also could not see, as rolls of skin completely obscured her eyes.
ARL Law Enforcement Officer Darleen Wood told WBZ-TV “It’s not healthy. And as much as being underweight is a form of neglect and abuse, so is being this much overweight.” The pig is now under the care of veterinary professionals and will hopefully shed enough weight to become healthy again.
The Cost of Animal Cruelty
If the courts convict Caterino on felony charges of animal cruelty, she faces between five and seven years in jail and up to $5,000 in fines. A subsequent animal cruelty felony conviction could land her in jail for up to ten years and $10,000 in fines, which seems like a plausible possibility considering Caterino has previously had two other pot-bellied pigs removed from her care.
The Importance of Quality Criminal Defense
For her sake, we hope Caterino has a good criminal defense lawyer, or she could be spending over half of a decade in jail. If you or someone you love is facing criminal charges in Amherst, contact Thomas Whitney Attorney at Law today at (413) 256-6234 to schedule a consultation with an accomplished criminal defense attorney.