Judge: Abused dog will not be returned to owner

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A judge rules that ‘Lady’, the dog caught on video being abused, will not be returned to her owner.

19 year-old Shekayla Starks was in court Tuesday, trying to regain custody of her dog, five month-old Lady.  Starks said she was at school at the time of the incident.  Starks said, “I was told she might’ve got hit by a car, so I didn’t know what was wrong with her, but I know she was hurting because she was limping.” 

At the time, Starks was living with her boyfriend, who’s grandfather is Legus Holloway.  Holloway is identified by police as the man abusing Lady in the video.  Starks said she has since moved.  Her mother, Karen Denton, testified that she gave Lady to her daughter for her birthday in September, and she only found out what really happened when she saw the viral video online.  Denton said, “Once I saw what actually happened to Lady, I called the vet back and said no it’s not just a broken leg. I’m afraid she might have internal bleeding, some other bones might be broken, I need to have her seen.” 

But that explanation wasn’t enough for the city’s animal control director who testified she didn’t think Lady should be returned to Starks.  Judge Sherry Jackson showed concern over where the dog might live and the time it took for Lady to get medical care.  Judge Jackson said, “I don’t see the owner doing a lot to take care of that animal.  We’re talking, a situation, for a couple of days before the animal was seen to.”

Jackson ruled that Lady will not be returned to Starks.  Denton said after court Tuesday, they will appeal the ruling.  Starks has ten days to file paperwork to start the appeals process.

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