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Woman charged with felony animal cruelty in July heat stroke death of puppy left in sun with no water

She is charged with "animal cruelty of a non-livestock animal" which is a third degree felony.

GROVES, Texas — A woman has been arrested for felony animal cruelty for the death of a puppy found in a kennel in the sun outside a Groves home with no water in July.

Michelle Marie Bradford, 42, was arrested on Thursday morning by Groves Police officers according to Jefferson County Precinct One Justice of the Peace Ben Collins.

(EDITOR'S NOTE: The above video first aired on Tuesday, August 30, 2022.)

Bradford is being charged with "animal cruelty of a non-livestock animal" which is a third degree felony Collins said.

Bradford's bond was set at $25,000, but she has since bonded out. She must wear an ankle monitor.

She could face a two to 10 year prison sentence if convicted he said.

***UPDATE CRUELTY TO NON-LIVESTOCK ANIMALS*** Groves Detectives Investigation revealed that a resident of the home, Michelle Bradford, had knowledge of the dog being dropped off at the home. During an interview she admitted to investigators that she forgot about the dog being left outside. Groves Detectives completed the case file and submitted it to the Jefferson County District Attorney’s Office for review. The Jefferson County DA accepted the FELONY charge of Cruelty to non-livestock Animals which is a 3rd Degree Felony. A warrant was granted and the Honorable Judge Benjamin Collins, Sr. issued a $25, 000 bond. Once the warrant was active, Groves Officers located Bradford at a residence in Port Arthur and were able to execute the warrant. Bradford was then transported to the Jefferson County Correctional Facility where she is being held on the $25, 000.00 bond.

Posted by Groves Police Department on Thursday, September 1, 2022

A veterinarian determined that the puppy died of heat stroke, according to a probable cause affidavit.

Bradford initially lied and told officers that she did not know the puppy had been left at her house, the affidavit said.

In a follow up interview with police, Bradford changed her story and admitted that the dog was dropped off along with her grandson.

She and her grandson went inside and she told police that she had forgotten about the puppy, the affidavit said.

Credit: JCSO

She told police she had lied at first because she was scared.

A candlelight memorial has been planned for the puppy on Saturday evening, September 24, 2022, at 6 p.m. across the street from the Groves Activity Center at 6150 39th St.

The puppy was found by Groves Animal Control officers along the side of a home in a kennel in direct sunlight on July 13, 2022, according to 12News file stories. 

A small bowl was inside the kennel but it was empty that day when temperatures were 94.

Credit: Groves Police Department
Michelle Marie Bradford, 42, is placed under arrest Thursday morning by Groves Police officers.

After initially claiming the puppy was left at her home without her permission she confessed that the dog was left in her care according to Chief Deputy Kirk Rice, of the Groves Police Department.

RELATED: 'Inhumane act of cruelty' | No charges filed yet following death of puppy locked in metal cage, investigation continues

She later told police she forgot that the puppy was outside and has now taken full responsibility for the act of neglect according to Rice.

This is a developing story. We will update with more if and when we receive more confirmed information.

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