Woman pleads guilty on animal cruelty charges in York County; will serve two years

York County

YORK COUNTY, Va. (WAVY) — A woman is facing two years behind bars after she pleaded guilty to several counts of animal cruelty charges in York County.

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According to the York-Poquoson Sheriff’s Office, 48-year-old Wendy Lynn Diehl was the driver of a U-Haul found on July 3, 2020, in the parking lot of a Walmart in the 2600 block of Route 17 in York County.

Deputies say a concerned citizen called police after noticing the U-Haul in the parking lot for about an hour and a half. When responding officers broke the window of the van, they pulled 14 cats and 1 dog out in total, with one cat being pronounced dead.

The cats were in crates throughout the vehicle, with some roaming free, covered in feces and urine. There was also no food or water in the van, deputies say.

All of the animals were taken to an emergency veterinary clinic to be bathed and treated for dehydration, and one of the cats had to be euthanized due to being in such poor condition. The animals were then taken to the Peninsula Regional Animal Shelter in Newport News.

Diehl was charged with 14 counts of misdemeanor animal cruelty, 2 counts of felony animal cruelty and 15 counts of misdemeanor fail to provide for an animal.

On October 14, she pleaded guilty to six of the misdemeanor animal cruelty charges and was nolle prosequi on the remaining charges. Court records show she was sentenced to six years, but will only serve two.

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