Family reunited with dog in animal abuse case, protest planned

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An eight-year-old reunited with her dog, Bella, after weeks of uncertainty following a series of animal abuse charges. 

The Blount County Sheriff’s Office Amy Renea Robertson, 43, to face 21 separate charges of animal cruelty. 

BCSO says Robertson admitted that she had no intentions of returning home to take care of the animals after she left her home approximately two weeks ago. 

Deputies say that Robertson claimed that she had roommates that were supposed to care for the animals while she was away, but later she admitted this was a lie. 

Now, owners to some of the animals rescued from the house are only just beginning to see their animals go back to how they were before. 

“I literally spent the whole day crying.” said Bridgett Sweeney, the original owner to one of the dogs rescued from the house. 

Sweeney says Bella, a hound/pointer mix, is her 8 year-old granddaughter’s pet. She originally asked Amy Robertson to temporarily take Bella when she was working long hours. Sweeney didn’t want the dog to spend so much time alone, Robertson agreed to take care of the dog at her Maryville home.  

“Within two months she stopped meeting me for bags of dog food, she refused to meet me to let us see Bella.” said Sweeney. 

Sweeney says she met Robertson often to provide food and that Bella was updated on all of her shots. So when she stopped responding — Sweeney didn’t know what to think. 

That’s when she heard the news: Robertson was charged with animal cruelty. Now, Sweeney says it’s not all about justice within the court. 

“She has to deal with those consequences and she has to live with those things that she has done.” said Sweeney. 

Other owners of animals rescued from the house has a protest planned outside the Blount County Courthouse on Monday April 2nd, ahead of Robertson’s hearing.

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