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Tallahassee woman charged in rabbit's starvation death

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Posted at 10:30 AM, Aug 20, 2018
and last updated 2018-08-20 14:36:40-04

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (WTXL) - A Tallahassee woman is facing felony animal cruelty charges after her rabbit died from starvation and dehydration. 

Keianna Symone Baker, 22, has been charged with the felony of cruelty to animals.

Baker said she got busy with school and work and forgot about the rabbit, which died on the back porch of her apartment, according to a probable cause affidavit written by a Tallahassee Police Department investigator.

Animal control officers found the rabbit's body in a metal wire cage. In the cage were a water bottle and food bowl, both empty.

Baker once told the TPD investigator she had given the rabbit "water a week ago but had not checked on it since that point."

After the TPD investigator read Baker her Miranda rights, Baker said she had bought the rabbit about a month earlier for $30 and had kept it in her room until it started to smell and she placed his cage on the back porch.

She told the TPD investigator she had fed the rabbit about two weeks before it died. But later she changed her statement to say she had fed it the previous morning or possibly the previous night.

Baker claimed she threw the rabbit's food out before law enforcement arrived but could not remember the brand name of the food, the court document said.

She said she forgot she had the rabbit until a resident of the apartment confronted her about its death. That resident told animal control officers that the rabbit had been outside on the porch for weeks in the heat and that, on July 5, she and other roommates realized the rabbit was not moving. 

An animal Shelter veterinarian who examined the dead rabbit described the animal as emaciated and concluded that it had died three to four days before its body was recovered.

The veterinarian said the the rabbit's body had no signs of trauma or disease and that "starvation and dehydration were the likely cause of death."

Baker, who was arrested by the Orange County Sheriff's Office, was released on a $2,500 bond.