(Riverton, WY) – 30-year-old former Fremont County resident Parris Lawrence (AKA Causey) faces an animal cruelty charge after reports of neglecting dogs in her care, according to various Court documents filed from October 20-27.
A sentencing hearing has been set for November 9.
Lawrence originally faced and pled “guilty” to two counts of misdemeanor cruelty to animals, but factual basis was not provided for the second count at her October 27 arraignment hearing. Lawrence was allowed to withdraw that guilty plea, which was then then entered as a “no contest” plea.
On October 5, a Riverton animal control officer was dispatched to a reported animal abuse case, where they learned an individual was reportedly given a dog whose physical condition was cause for concern.
The animal control officer recognized the dog, “Apollo,” from “numerous previous contacts and instances,” and also knew he had belonged to Lawrence.
The officer observed that Apollo was laying flat on the floor and had a body score of “1” on the Nestle Purina Body Condition System.
Apollo’s “ribs, lumbar vertebrae, pelvic bones and all bony prominences” were evident, and he was “lethargic and dehydrated.”
The officer soon learned that the individual was given Apollo by Lawrence when she asked “if she wanted a dog.”
The individual was reportedly “shocked” at the condition of the dog and asked Lawrence what was wrong with him, who replied that “nothing” was wrong with him and that she just needed to “give him some water.”
The individual did not have the means to take care of Apollo and took him to another person, who ultimately surrendered him to the animal control officer.
The officer reportedly had to carry Apollo to their car because he was “too weak to walk,” and he was transported to a local veterinarian for evaluation.
During the animal control officer’s ensuing investigation, it was learned that Lawrence had brought Apollo to a Casper veterinarian back in September because he was “vomiting and had diarrhea.”
Apollo then underwent an operation where veterinarians noted he had a “severely agitated GI tract,” and he was released back to Lawrence.
The Casper veterinarian also advised that Lawrence later called back about having “three sick kittens.”
When this call was made they inquired about Apollo, and Lawrence reportedly told them “the dog had died.”
While later being evaluated by the Riverton veterinarian, an intussusception of the large intestine was found inside Apollo, meaning that “the large intestine was in essence eating the small intestine,” which can be caused by viral/bacterial infections, parasites, dietary changes, or intestinal tumors.
The Riverton veterinarian said Apollo’s condition was far enough advanced that he would have died without surgery.
A warrant was soon placed for Lawrence’s arrest.
Court documents also indicate that Lawrence was cited with animal cruelty and false reporting of a crime stemming from events on April 28 of this year in Mills, where she was reported to have abandoned a dog named Loki at a local shelter.
Lawrence claimed she took Loki “from a man beating him,” but the dog’s microchip indicated she was indeed Loki’s owner.
Lawrence was also investigated on August 16 of 2023 for leaving another dog, Zeus, in a vehicle when it was 94 degrees outside.
Court documents also state she had “reportedly gotten homes or otherwise disposed of all her animals,” and also “got a new puppy” a few days prior to the filing of the affidavit that she “did not have food for.”
A cruelty to animals misdemeanor charge carries a maximum punishment of 6 months imprisonment and a $750 fine.
Lawrence’s sentencing hearing will take place on November 9.
County 10 will continue to provide more information on the case as it becomes available, which can be viewed here.