Tuesday, 28 May 2024

Girls accused of animal abuse released from Juvenile Hall

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The little female hamster survived the abuse and is in a new home. Photo courtesy of Lake County Animal Care and Control.

 

LAKE COUNTY – Two girls arrested earlier this week in an animal cruelty case have been released temporarily from Juvenile Hall.


The 14- and 15-year-old girls, students at Lower Lake High School, were released from Juvenile Hall Thursday after their Monday arrest for microwaving a hamster, said Officer Carl Miller of Clearlake Police.


“They are on 15-day home detection until they go into their jurisdictional hearing,” Miller said.


Miller, a school resource officer for the Konocti Unified School District, conducted the investigation into the case.


The girls, Miller explained, allegedly put the hamster in the microwave twice back in December. His investigation was unable to confirm allegations that the girls also had put Bugsy in other appliances, such as a clothes dryer.


Miller said the girls, when confronted with the allegations, admitted they had done it, and he said they showed no remorse.


Their alleged reason for putting the little female hamster in the microwave was because they were bored, said Miller.


“They said they only did it for five seconds,” he said.


The hamster lost three of her feet following the microwave incident, Officer Morgan Hermann of Lake County Animal Care and Control told Lake County News earlier this week. However, the hamster has made a recovery and is living with a teacher who reportedly confiscated her from one of the girls, who had brought the little animal back to school.


Miller said a veterinarian's exam of the hamster showed the burns she suffered were consistent with what a microwave would inflict.


When the girls go to court April 18, Miller said they'll make their pleas. If they plead not guilty, they'll be subject to a trial by judge. A guilty plea would likely result in a quicker resolution.


If convicted, Miller said the girls could face anything from probation to a year in the California Youth Authority,


He expects they'll receive 30 days in Juvenile Hall and a few years of probation if guilty verdicts are delivered. “Anything more than that is highly unlikely.”


E-mail Elizabeth Larson at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..


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