Donna woman jailed after deputies find dead, starving dogs

Sara Fernandez

Authorities accused a 39-year-old Donna woman of failing to feed her ex-husband’s dogs after one of them was found dead and another severely malnourished.

The Hidalgo County Sheriff’s Office arrested Sara Garcia Fernandez on Tuesday on a charge of animal cruelty.

Officers received the call May 31 and arrived at her property to find two German Shepherds. One’s rib cage was showing and the other was dead inside a small wooden dog house on the back of the property, according to a probable cause affidavit.

Investigators say the neighbor told them that Fernandez only stopped by the property once every two weeks.

When deputies spoke with Fernandez, she said she owned the property, but that the dogs belonged to her ex-husband. She also told investigators she told her ex-husband that he needed to take his dogs because she couldn’t afford to feed them.

However, Fernandez said she didn’t know one of the dogs was dead, according to the affidavit.

Investigators indicated that they spoke with her ex-husband June 2, and he told them that he wasn’t allowed on the property because Fernandez had a restraining order against him.

He also said the neighbor told him they would call Fernandez in order to report him to police if he ever showed up at the property, according to the charging document.

Investigators say there was no restraining order.

On June 24, investigators obtained a video-recorded statement from Fernandez where she said she owned the property and did not provide the dogs any food or water.

According to investigators, Fernandez told her ex-husband’s mother and her neighbor that the man was not allowed on the property and that if he showed up, she would call police.

She remained jailed as of Wednesday afternoon on a $25,000 bond, records show.

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