Woman charged with abandoning puppies in dumpster

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A St. Paul woman told police she put her two puppies in a large recycling bin behind an animal hospital in May in hopes that someone would find them and take care of them, according to a criminal complaint filed against her Tuesday.

The two puppies were found in the bin by a manager at the Scenic Hills Animal Hospital the morning of May 7. They'd been placed there the previous night. One of the dogs was dead, and the other was rescued by staff at the hospital. Both dogs were malnourished.

Anna Bertha Robole, 47, is charged in Ramsey County District Court with felony animal cruelty for abusing the dogs and abandoning them.

The case attracted a great deal of attention in news reports and on social media, and Robole voluntarily spoke to St. Paul police on June 10.

"Robole said she wanted to take care of this because her name was all over Facebook," the complaint said.

According to the criminal complaint, Robole lives in an apartment building about a block away from the animal hospital. Police interviewed residents there after the puppies were found, and several tenants said they had seen Robole kick the dogs on several occasions.

Two witnesses said they had seen the dogs' mouths taped shut, and that Robole had told someone she did it so the dogs wouldn't chew up her carpeting.

A necropsy conducted on the dead puppy revealed that it had six broken ribs which were healing, and was underweight.

Police searched Robole's apartment and car on May 9 and found damaged carpeting, a roll of duct tape and a hand-written note with the Humane Society's phone number and hours, according to the complaint.

Robole told police she'd contacted the Humane Society, but said the agency wouldn't take the dogs because they hadn't been vaccinated.

It's not clear which organization Robole contacted, but a spokeswoman for the Animal Humane Society said her agency takes animals for any reason, regardless of whether they've been vaccinated or received any veterinary care, the St. Paul Pioneer Press reports.

Robole denied kicking the dogs or taping their mouths shut. According to the complaint, Robole said she had financial problems and could no longer care for the dogs.

"Robole said the dogs were alive when she put them in the dumpster and she admitted she should not have placed them there," the complaint said.

The surviving puppy, who was named Scrappy by the animal hospital staff, has been adopted and is in good health, according to the Pioneer Press. He is shown in the photo at top, which was taken in mid-May.

Robole will appear in court on Aug. 22.

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