A Prince George, Virginia, woman was sentenced to six months in jail after she was convicted of misdemeanor animal cruelty for the death of her dog, PEOPLE confirms.
Josefina Baldera Solis’ dog Golden was found tied up outside and crying on Sept. 9. “That dog was crying for at least eight hours,” neighbor Amanda Hios told WTVR. “I had never heard an animal so sad in my life.”
She called Animal Control for help and they ultimately freed the canine. Unfortunately, Golden died on his way to the vet. A necropsy showed he died of blood loss, the result of an out-of-control flea infestation.
“It was an astonishing amount of fleas on the dog,” Prince George County Animal Control supervisor Job Greene told the TV station. “The doctor had never seen a dog with that many fleas before.”
Greene adds in an interview with PEOPLE: “The Animal Control officer who responded was getting fleas all over her, just being near the dog. She wrapped him up in a blanket and took him to the local animal hospital, but it was too late.”
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“When the pound came, he could not left his head off the ground,” Hios added to WTVR. “It was the saddest thing I’ve ever seen.”
The doctor who performed Golden’s necropsy wrote that he “almost completely covered with fleas . I have never in 23 years of practice seen a flea infestation this extensive,” WTVR reports.
Greene says that the doctor told him that Golden’s death was prolonged. “It took months for the dog to get this much blood eaten from him,” he says. “It was a long-term thing.”
He adds: “There’s a lesson here. Cruelty isn’t just physical abuse, it’s neglect.”
Solis is out on bail after she appealed her sentence on Dec. 8, the Riverside Regional Jail tells PEOPLE.