A Portsmouth man could face jail time after a judge found him guilty of animal cruelty Tuesday.
Prosecutors said Adriane Mason starved one dog and kept another inside a crate with the dead animal. Only 10 On Your Side was there to cover Mason's trial in circuit court.
PETA volunteers testified that they visited Mason's home back in February when they were delivering straw for animals that live outside. Volunteer Kendall Bryant said she noticed something wrong behind the house.
"We heard the carrier moving and rustling inside the carrier and a dog barking, and that's when we saw that there was a dog inside of the crate," Bryant said.
Bryant and another volunteer said they discovered two dogs inside one small crate, and one of them, named Dynasty, was dead.
"There wasn't a lot of room and he was stepping on her and he was moving and she wasn't moving or responding," Bryant said.
Dr. Courtney Harral of the Virginia Beach SPCA testified that Dynasty had a broken leg and no body fat upon examination. She said she found straw in the dog's stomach. The other dog in the crate, named Blue, was also underweight, but survived and was adopted.
"He was very frantic and pacing a lot and had clearly been emotionally traumatized from his ordeal," said Daphna Nachminovitch, Senior Vice President for Cruelty Investigations at PETA.
Attorney Nicholas Renniger said prosecutors never proved Mason intentionally starved the animal. Defense witnesses testified Dynasty stopped eating after giving birth to her litter. They said she ran away, was injured, and returned, but they said Mason provided food for her.
Mason declined to talk to 10 On Your Side.
Mason is scheduled for sentencing on December 17. He could face 12 months in jail or a $2,500 fine.