RAVENNA — A Shalersville woman who shot a 16-month-old American bulldog named Gemma was sentenced Monday to 180 days in the Portage County Jail.
Annette Musser, 38, also was fined $300 and ordered to pay $3,216.08 in restitution to the Portage Animal Protective League for Gemma’s surgeries. She will serve community control once she is released from jail.
Musser shot while she was intoxicated on Sept. 16. She pleaded guilty to cruelty to animals, a fifth-degree felony, in December.
She is also banned from owning animals for the next five years, and as a convicted felon under Ohio law is not allowed to possess a firearm.
“I own dogs myself,” Portage Common Pleas Judge Laurie Pittman said. “I can’t imagine anyone doing this.”
She added it was “beyond comprehension” that someone would have shot their dog.
Musser’s attorney, Patricia J. Smith, told Pittman that Musser had brought photo albums of Gemma to Smith’s law office. Musser loved Gemma, Smith said.
Smith said Gemma had been aggressive for some time, though Smith noted that did not excuse Musser’s actions.
“I would like to say I’m sorry,” Musser said. “I miss her everyday. I’m sorry I can’t take it back.”
Gemma was taken by the Animal Protective League after the incident in September and given multiple surgeries after she was shot in the shoulder.
Chalan Lowry, executive director of the Portage Animal Protective League, said in an email that Gemma is still at the shelter. Gemma was adopted, but came back to the shelter after she didn’t do as well as expected with another dog in the home, Lowry said.
“She’s doing really well and is just a big, energetic love bug,” Lowry said.
Contact reporter Eileen McClory at firstname.lastname@example.org or @Eileen_McClory.