25-year old Mary Wild cried a bit as she read a prepared statement to the judge before her sentencing. After being convicted of eight counts of animal abuse a month ago in the deaths of 7 show dogs she left in a hot van in front of her house a June night last year, Mary said she was making a heartfelt apology to the owners of the dogs who died in her care. She said she would have never knowingly hurt the dogs and with live with this the rest of her life and she is sorry.
She was not interested in speaking to us afterwards but her lawyer Brad Dede did. He said Mary's life has changed and she has learned her lesson. That's something some show dog owners aren't quite ready to believe. But Dede went on to say he believes Mary Wild still has something to offer the dog show world, even if she can't be in it. Perhaps she could educate young handlers on not making the mistake she made.
Some would argue anyone with common sense wouldn't have made the mistake she made. The people who's lives she changed by destroying their dogs because of her bad judgment do not appear to be filled with hate. Not the three owners who showed up in the courtroom today at least. One guy actually said he'd let Mary take care of a dog in the future. Another said she would like to see Mary banned for life by the American Kennel Club. That could very well happen.
In sentencing Mary, the judge said he felt having her sit in a county jail would serve no purpose. Neither would picking up trash on the side of the road for community service. Instead he wants her doing her time helping out at the Jefferson County Animal Control Center. Since it's clear she didn't intentially kill the show dogs, he thinks she has something to offer with her expertise in caring for dogs her entire life.
I would have loved to speak with Mary and hear in her own words why she did what she did and how this has changed her. I don't count reading a brief, prepared statement before the court,(likely written by someone else) as really speaking to what happened.
Like Mary said in her statement though, she'll live with this for the rest of her life. I believe that. How could she not. I hope she can go on and do some good in the world.
Mark Schnyder is a reporter at KMOV-TV. He can be reached at email@example.com.