Hartford woman charged in frozen dog case gets probation

HARTFORD— A Connecticut woman charged with allowing a dog to freeze to death has avoided jail.

A judge Monday granted 50-year-old Michelle Bennett’s request for accelerated rehabilitation. An animal cruelty charge will be erased if she successfully serves two years of probation and completes 500 hours of community service.

The 3-year-old male pit bull was found chained inside a dog house in the backyard of Bennett’s Hartford home in January.

A veterinarian said the dog was “frozen solid” and malnourished.

Police say one of Bennett’s relatives who lived in the same three-family home owned the dog. That relative went to jail and it was unclear in whose care the dog was left.

Bennett’s attorney said his client never assumed responsibility because she’s “petrified” of dogs.