MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — A St. Paul woman has been charged with animal cruelty after she allegedly dumped two puppies – one of them dead – into an animal hospital’s recycling dumpster in May.

According to the criminal complaint, 47-year-old Anna Bertha Robole is accused of discarding the dogs behind the Scenic Hills Animal Hospital in St. Paul.

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Hospital staff called police after making the discovery on May 7. Investigators interviewed the management of the Creek Point Apartments, located just down the block from the hospital, and found that tenant Robole had been the focus of complaints about the abuse of two puppies in April.

Witnesses said they saw Robole kicking the two puppies on different occasions in the head, legs and hips within the period of a month. One witness saw Robole kick one of the puppies so hard that it limped for weeks, and another witnessed Robole lifting one of them by the collar, choking them.

On another occasion, a witness saw both dogs with duct tape covering their mouths. When the witness confronted Robole about the tape, she explained that it was to prevent them from chewing on her carpets.

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Apartment management says Robole did not have permission to have the dogs, and was warned that she would be fined.

When police interviewed Robole, she said both dogs were alive when they were placed in the recycling bin, and her intention was for the puppies to be found. She claims she had asked the Humane Society to take them, but they refused because they had never received vaccinations or visited a vet.

Robole said she was unaware of any complaints or warnings from management, and she claimed she never abused the animals or covered their mouths in duct tape, even though investigators found a roll in her apartment and discarded bits in her garbage.

She was also informed that a necropsy performed on the diseased puppy showed that six of its ribs had suffered fractures.

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If convicted, Robole could face two years in prison.