BY BRADEN CARTWRIGHT
Daily Post Staff Writer
A judge today (Aug. 9) decided three Pets In Need employees won’t have to face criminal charges for taking a van full of dogs to the Palo Alto Animal Shelter without water or air conditioning, resulting in the deaths of seven puppies.
Instead, Shelter Manager Patty Santana and former Behavior Manager Maggie Evans must do 50 hours of community service.
Former HR Manager Ingrid Hartmann doesn’t have to do any community service because she was just along for the ride, the judge ruled.
“Was it avoidable? Maybe. Was it negligent? Definitely not,” Judge Brian Buckelew said at the Palo Alto Courthouse.
If the women go six months without breaking the law, then the case will be dismissed.
Santana was the only defendant at the courthouse, along with three supporters. They cried and she hugged them after the ruling.
Buckelew’s decision came a year after the Aug. 2, 2021 incident, which led to the executive director of Pets In Need resigning and a dispute between the nonprofit and the city of Palo Alto.
Deputy District Attorney Adrian Ferrari objected to the judge’s decision, called a “diversion” in courthouse jargon. The employees should face criminal charges for animal cruelty and neglect, he said.
More details in today’s print edition of the Daily Post.