Kendra Stafford was recently charged with abandoning an animal, cruelty to animals, and failure to license a dog.

According to NBC4i, Stafford had owned her dog for three months when she was told by her landlord that she wasn't allowed to keep it in the apartment. Stafford alleged that she utilized Craigslist and “other options” to find her dog a home. She said:

“I called every shelters in, around the county, like all over Ohio, and they all said that they were full. I called the dog warden and she said she couldn’t do anything about it at all.”

However, according to the Ross County Humane Society in Ohio, Stafford never made an appearance at the shelter or an attempt to legally surrender her dog.

Instead, Stafford planned to leave her dog in Yoctangee Park with a note attached to the cage.

However, when she couldn't find any tape in her car, Stafford decided to write on her pet with a permanent marker— one that was not animal friendly. 

She said:

"...I wrote on her. And I wrote ‘free’ and ‘good home only,’ and then after I did that, I had that cringeworthy moment where I was just like ‘oh my gosh, I messed up, like she looks awful.”

Stafford has pleaded not guilty to the charges.

She said:

“I regret writing on the dog, and I think that it was a mistake, but it was all good intentions behind it."

In a post on Facebook, an employee of the Ross County Humane Society expressed her anger at the situation, calling the act “a whole new level of LOW.”

She then posted a happy update— the pup, Marvella, has been adopted by a “wonderful local family.” The update continued, saying:

While this certainly isn’t the worst case we’ve ever seen and are thankful that marvella was otherwise healthy we hope that this serves as a reminder that there are always other options before adandonment. Marvella’s story is a happy one but thousands of other dogs across the county don’t have such a happy ending.

The Humane Society recognizes that sometimes it is in the best interest of an animal to be surrendered. As a result, the Animal Humane Society will never turn away an animal, and 95 percent of these animals find happy endings. The Animal Humane Society also lists numerous resources for alternatives that should be considered before surrendering a pet.

Before giving up an animal, be sure to do the proper research. Like Stafford, those who abandon animals could face charges.