A Spring Hill woman has been convicted of multiple counts of felony Aggravated Animal Cruelty for shooting her dogs with a BB gun more than 100 times, a social media release from the Hernando County Sheriff's Office states.
According to the Facebook post, on April 19, 2022, an animal enforcement officer with the Sheriff's Office responded to a residence located at 472 Hollyhock Lane in Spring Hill in reference to a woman possibly having shot her own dogs with a BB gun.
A witness advised he was working outside when he heard a BB gun being fired, followed by what sounded like the yelps of dogs being hit. Police say the witness heard the BB gun fire approximately 15 times over the course of 30 to 45 minutes.
After arriving on the scene, the animal enforcement officer was able to make contact with Jamie Lynn Kujawa, 39, regarding the incident involving her property. Kujawa initially stated she didn't own a BB gun.
The animal enforcement officer then asked to see proof of vaccination for all three dogs, which Kujawa was unable to provide. Upon inspection, the officer noted various injuries and scarring on the feet and paws of each dog, noting that one appeared to be in worse condition than the others — suffering from numerous puncture wounds to its paws and legs.
Kujawa stated the dogs had recently been involved in a fight, in which she was forced to use water from a hose to break up. The animal enforcement officer gave Kujawa a verbal warning for having unvaccinated dogs, further instructing her to provide proof that the injured dogs received treatment, along with vaccination, in 10 days.
On April 20, 2022, a deputy and animal enforcement officer returned to 472 Hollyhock Lane to further investigate the potential of criminal violations. The deputy initially spoke to the witness, who shares a fence with Kujawa. After confirming his earlier statements, the deputy went to the backyard, observing the three dogs through the fence. All appeared to be limping.
After moving on to Kujawa's residence, the deputy requested to view all three dogs, noting that two of the dogs appeared to have fresh wounds on their front paws and legs. The deputy indicated that some of the injuries appeared to be consistent with dogs that have been fighting.
Police say they were unable to touch and thoroughly inspect the dogs due to them not being comfortable with being touched. Kujawa was advised she remained under a 10-day warning to have the dogs checked by a veterinarian. Over the course of the next week, animal enforcement officers routinely checked on the condition of the dogs.
On April 28, 2022, Kujawa called the Sheriff's Office to state she was financially unable to take the dogs to the veterinarian, inquiring about the county's owner surrender policy. On May 3, 2022, Kujawa surrendered two of the three dogs to Hernando County Animal Services.
Three days later, an in-depth exam was conducted by the veterinarian at Hernando County Animal Services. The vet was able to remove a lead pellet from the right paw of one of the dogs. Out of an abundance for caution, both dogs were then sent for x-rays.
When the first dog was x-rayed, the veterinarian was able to identify approximately 61 BBs and 19 lead pellets peppered throughout the dog's legs, torso, and head. The second dog's x-rays showed 71 BBs and 22 lead pellets throughout its body. A total of 173 projectiles were found embedded between the two animals.
On May 10, 2022, deputies returned to Kujawa's residence, where they arrested her on multiple counts of felony Aggravated Animal Cruelty. The rest of Kujawa's animals were also removed from the home, including a third dog, three cats, a ferret, and a bird.
Further investigation revealed that Kujawa used a gas-powered BB gun to shoot the dogs when they attempted to dig under the property fence to get out of her yard. Police say Kujawa later admitted that she had been shooting the dogs for approximately two months.
As of October 10, 2023, the defendant, Jamie Lynn Kujawa has been convicted on multiple counts of Aggravated Animal Cruelty. She's been sentenced to 5 years in the Department of Corrections.
Article by Rachael Volpe