Lincoln woman found guilty of animal cruelty to serve probation

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LINCOLN, Neb. -- A 21-year-old Lincoln woman who pleaded no contest to charges of animal cruelty will serve two years probation.

Leslie Byron was found guilty of felony abandoning or cruelly neglecting an animal resulting in death in January, and was sentenced on Thursday.

Byron and Sierra Hotchkiss were arrested in March 2016, after a dog was found dead near 37th and South streets.

According to police, Byron reported she had trouble finding a place to stay with her 3-year-old black lab, so she took the animal to an unknown wooded location. Byron did say that she would visit the dog.

However, Byron told police that she got busy, and didn't return to visit the lab for three weeks.

She eventually came back to find the dog dead.

Authorities believe the dog was dead for around three weeks before it was discovered.

In addition to probation, Byron is not to own, possess, or reside with any animal for a period not to exceed 15 years.