Fort Worth couple get probation in deaths of 3 puppies

Posted Friday, Aug. 02, 2013  comments  Print Reprints

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A man and woman accused of starving, beating and then burning three miniature pincher puppies have been sentenced to probation after pleading guilty to one charge each of animal cruelty.

Melissa Ann Woodard and Christopher Apala pled guilty on Tuesday. Each received deferred adjudication probation, which means if they successfully complete the terms of their probation their convictions will not stay on their records.

As a condition of Apala’s probation, he was ordered to serve 30 days in jail, according to a spokeswoman for the Tarrant County district attorney’s office. Both Apala and Woodard are required to undergo random drug testing, drug evaluation and complete a community service requirement.

If they violate any of the conditions of their probation, they could be sentenced to two years in a state jail.

In a jailhouse interview with the Star-Telegram, Woodard and Apala said they were jobless and could not feed the puppies and could not take the puppies to a shelter because they had no transportation.

Apala, 33, said the puppies were suffering. They asked their families and neighbors for money and food but got none.

Woodard said they had smoked marijuana and taken methamphetamine before but were not high on June 22 when they killed the dogs.

Deputies received a 911 call from Woodard’s sister, saying she had found the puppies in the barrel in the 7300 block of Cottonwood Creek Road. Melissa Woodard, 38, is listed as the homeowner, according to Tarrant County records.

This includes material from Star-Telegram archives.

Mitch Mitchell, 817-390-7752 Twitter: @mitchmitchel3

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