Success: Woman Who Abandoned Dog at Shelter Prosecuted


Target: Chris Ankeny, Chief, Lewiston Police Department

Goal: Praise police who filed a criminal complaint against woman whose abandoned dog was killed by a car.

A helpless dog was found dead on an interstate on-ramp, having been killed by a speeding car after apparent abandonment by its owner outside of an animal shelter. The dog’s owner, Sarah Vye, who stated that she “loved animals,” was caught on video leaving the dog to die when she could no longer take care of it. Brought to light by the media, the incident lead to widespread outcry, and many raised their voices to demand justice for the needless death of this animal.

Though sometimes caring for animals is beyond a person’s means, it’s important to remember that there is never an excuse for abandonment. Members of the ForceChange community showed their support for this concept by rallying for justice for the abandoned dog, as did the local police department who filed a criminal complaint against Vye following its investigation of the incident. Thanks to advocacy from the police department, as well as media outlets turning up the heat on this issue, Vye is now facing a possible 264 days in jail as well as a $2,000 fine.

By filing criminal charges against Vye, the police department is sending a strong message to others who may consider abandonment and other forms of cruelty as methods of dealing with pets who have become inconvenient for them. By subjecting this animal abuser to criminal charges, the Lewiston Police Department is pushing back against normalization of abandonment and animal abuse, a crucial step in preventing future cruelty. Thank the department for its work in pursuing justice for this dog.


Dear Chief Ankeny,

Thank you for filing a criminal complaint against Sarah Vye, the woman accused of abandoning a dog at an animal shelter resulting in its death. By taking serious action against Vye, you conveyed a strong message that abandonment and animal abuse are not acceptable and are not to be tolerated in your, or any, community. It is so important that we consider violence against animals worthy of drastic action, and that we work to prevent future animal cruelty.

Thank you for the serious attention you paid to this animal rights issue. Though criminal charges can’t bring the dog back, it is important that we value its life enough to seek justice for the cruelty it endured. We, the undersigned, commend you for taking violence against animals seriously, and for filing a criminal complaint against Sarah Vye.


[Your Name Here]

Photo credit: Mzelle Laure

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  1. Lisa Zarafonetis Lisa Zarafonetis says:

    U bet ur ass she deserves to be jailed!!!? Signed & Shared.

  2. Linda Hilty-Tuttle says:

    THANK YOU, Chief Ankeny, and your department for its work in pursuing justice for this dog!

  3. Lori James Lori James says:

    I would like to know where the $2000 fine goes. since this fine was generated by charges brought against someone committing a criminal act against an animal, the fine should be directed toward something that benefits animals. I also believe she should serve the entire sentence. Either the sentences need to be for a greater amount of time or they need to serve the entire time. If the current sentence is reduced like most are she will not serve enough time to impact her behavior in the future. She caused the death of an innocent animal, she needs to have consequences equal to the act.

  4. Dear Chief Ankeny thank you for arresting this person. let the punishment fit the crime.

  5. Bev Woodburn says:

    Jail the bitch for life and throw away the key.
    Better still eradicate her from this Planet. One down many more to eradicate.

  6. She has been charged, but has she been sentenced yet? This has been a well-publicized case, and I believe authorities need to take a stand against animal abandonment by imposing the maximum sentence. The public will be watching. Thank you.

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