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Woman says she is innocent after the death of a puppy found locked in a metal cage in Groves

Police said the puppy was found in a kennel in direct sunlight with no food, water or shade.

GROVES, Texas — A woman is claiming her innocence after the death of a puppy that was found locked in a metal cage on a hot day in Groves.

The puppy was found on Wednesday, July 13, 2022. Officers assisted Groves Animal Control and were called to a home in the 3100 block of Taft Avenue shortly before 3:30 p.m.

Officers found the dead puppy in a kennel on the side of a home. The kennel was found in direct sunlight with no shade.

A small bowl with no food or water was inside the kennel. It was 94 degrees in Groves the day the puppy was found.

The puppy's death has turned into an animal cruelty investigation. A nearby neighbor told police her stepson took a video of the puppy while it was still alive.

Groves Police plan to review the video and interview at least three suspects who they believe may be responsible. 

Related : No charges filed yet following death of puppy locked in metal cage, investigation continues

"We are not taking this lightly," Groves Police Chief Kirk Rice said. "We want to find the person or persons that are responsible and hold them accountable."

One of the three suspects is Marie Brown, the woman who lives at the home where the dog was found. Brown said she is innocent.

Brown claims the dog is not hers.

Brown said she returned to her house on Taft Avenue after getting off of work the day the dog was found, not knowing the dog was at her house.

“When I [got] off work, I come home to relax, and that’s what I did,” Brown said. “I came in and went in the back, turned my music on, and I was relaxing."

Brown claims she had no idea that while she was inside, her neighbor was recording a video of a puppy in her driveway burning up in the summer heat.

“No, I ever seen that dog a day in my life, and I’m not lying," Brown said

According to Brown, the dog belongs to her friend’s daughter. Brown said her friend’s daughter does not live with her, so she has no idea why they would drop the dog off at her house.

"When they asked Michelle whose dog it was, she said, 'Yeah,' that it was the daughter's dog,” Brown said.

Brown pointed out that when the video was taken, the dog was still alive.

“Dropped the dog off, I guess because they couldn’t take care of it or whatever the story may be,” Brown said. “But the dog was alive, you understand me, and a knock on the door would have saved that dog’s life. The dog would've been alive right now."

The fact that the dog’s death was preventable is what Brown said hurts her the most.

“That’s what hurting me more than anything,” Brown said. “To be that young and sit in a window and watch that dog suffer and die, you spoke with an adult. Why didn't the adult say, ‘Son go over there and knock on that door, so that dog doesn't die.’"

According to the Texas Penal Code, a person commits an offense if they intentionally, knowingly or recklessly fail to reasonably provide food, water, care or shelter to an animal in their custody.

"At the time of the offense, the case did not reach the level of a felony," Deputy Rice said. "Through the process of the investigation, we will be able to gather additional details through witness accounts and suspect interviews that may lead to a higher offense."

Brown is set to give a statement to an investigator on Tuesday. She plans to stick to her story and claim her innocence.

Brown said she is not worried. 

"Because, I don’t have any dogs,” Brown said. “It was not my dog. I don't have anything to worry about."

The Groves Police Department hopes to complete their investigation soon. Once the investigation is complete, police will submit the case to the Jefferson County District Attorney's office for review. 

Groves Animal Control wanted to remind the community that if they see an animal that they believe is being mistreated or not cared for properly, they should report it to the proper authorities immediately. 

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