LEWISTON — An Auburn woman, who police said abandoned a dog outside a local animal shelter that was later struck and killed by a car, received a lifetime ban on the possession of animals Monday morning in Lewiston District Court.

Sarah Vye, 22, pleaded guilty to a misdemeanor charge of cruelty to animals. She had pleaded not guilty during an April 6 hearing, but accepted an agreement Monday morning that resulted in a guilty plea and the lifetime ban of owning or possessing animals.

Vye also received a split sentence of 90 days in jail, all suspended, and a mandatory $500 fine. She will also serve one year of probation.

Assistant District Attorney Kate Bozeman told Judge Charlie Dow the conditions of her probation include being subject to random searches of her residence and vehicles for animals to make sure she complies with the lifetime ban.

Bozeman added that she would be responsible for maintaining full-time employment, and for each week she’s not employed full-time, she must perform five hours of community service.

Vye was issued a summons in February by a Lewiston animal control officer on a charge of cruelty to animals. The misdemeanor charge stemmed from a Jan. 25 incident in which Vye abandoned Abby, a yellow Labrador retriever-mix, outside the Greater Androscoggin Humane Society on Strawberry Avenue at night.


The incident was captured by surveillance video outside the shelter. The footage showed a dog being let out of a minivan. The minivan drove off as the dog ran after it.

Abby ran into traffic three days later and was killed after being struck by a vehicle on the on-ramp to the Vietnam Veterans Memorial Bridge, officials said.

Police were able to identify Vye through surveillance video and tips from the public.

Vye has not spoken publicly about the case. Without identifying herself, a woman called a Portland radio station a day after Abby was found dead. She said she had left Abby at the shelter to protect her three children.

“My kids come first,” she said. She said she was sorry that Abby was struck and killed.

During the sentencing Monday, Judge Dow explained to Vye that the 90-day sentence will hang over her head to “ensure her compliance with the probation conditions.”


As you many of you know, our staff and volunteers have been actively searching for this dog that was abandoned outside of our facility on Monday evening. Unfortunately during our morning search the dog was found hit by a car near the off ramp of the bridge. A sad morning here at GAHS with the passing of this dog, but we are determined to figure out who dropped this dog off at our facility. If you have any leads, please contact Animal Control through the police department. Thank you to our staff, volunteers and members of the public who helped us try to bring this dog back to safety. You are all greatly appreciated.

Posted by Greater Androscoggin Humane Society on Thursday, January 28, 2016

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