Woman accused of drowning puppies in toilet

Ginger Hartson of Lakewood was charged with four counts of animal cruelty Tuesday. According to the charges, Hartson’s two adult pit bulls had a litter of six puppies. When the landlord told Hartson she could not keep the pets in her small apartment, police said she managed to find homes for two of the pups. When she couldn’t sell the remaining four, police said she drowned them one by one in a toilet.

“Most of our animal cruelty cases involve some level of negligence. This was deliberate and it was cruel,” said Pierce County Prosecuting Attorney Mark Lindquist. “She knew exactly what she was doing.”

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According to a probable cause affidavit, Hartson admitted to drowning the dogs. 

The affidavit states, "She removed the lid from the back of the toilet and then proceeded to put one puppy at a time into the tank, holding them down extra time to make sure they died. She did this with each of the four puppies. She later identified the puppies that she killed as Growler, Luky, Loki Jr. and Mama's Boy.”

Investigators said she thought the puppies would be euthanized if she took them to the humane society.

“I think it’s terrible,” said neighbor Jim Braun. “I don’t l know how people can live and do something like that.”

Hartson pleaded not guilty to four counts of first-degree animal cruelty. Her bail was set at $20,000.

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