Sarah Vye’s minivan was caught on surveillance video outside of the Greater Androscoggin Humane Society in Lewiston, Maine in January. In the video, the van is seen pulling up to the shelter, the female driver got out, opened the side door and let a happy, tail-wagging dog out into the parking lot before pulling away and leaving the dog behind. The dog chased after the van as it drove away.
Shelter workers searched for the abandoned dog, a yellow Lab-mix, but discovered she had been struck by a car and killed three days after being dumped outside the shelter. A desperate search to find the owner of the van began.
Vye, a 21-year old single mother, after news of the search, contacted a local radio show and admitted to being the person in the video outside the shelter.
In her radio interview, she claims to have been caring for the dog, named Abby, since August, but says she was not Abby’s owner. She said the dog bit her 19-month old son several times and, after several attempts to return the dog to her real owner, was told to put her down or take her to a shelter.
Vye also claimed to have called Auburn Police, but was told since the dog wasn’t hers, she couldn’t surrender it. Auburn Police dispute those claims.
She said that on the night that she abandoned Abby outside the shelter, the dog had attempted to nip at her 2-month old twin girls.
This morning, Sarah Vye appeared in court to face misdemeanor animal cruelty charges. The charge carries a sentence of up to 364 days in jail and a maximum fine of $2,000.
Vye plead not guilty to the charge against her and requested a court appointed lawyer to defend her actions.