AIKEN, S.C. (WJBF) – Charges have been updated for a local woman accused of leaving a puppy outside to freeze.

Robyn Bacon is now charged with Ill Treatment of Animals.

The amendment allows the court additional sentencing options not included previously.

AIKEN, S.C. (WJBF) – A local woman is charged with cruelty to animals after temperatures plummeted and a frozen puppy was found in her backyard.

Aiken Public Safety was called to an Aiken woman’s home for a welfare check Tuesday– but they came upon a sight they were not expecting.

It was 15 degrees Tuesday morning when Aiken Public Safety officers were called to the home on Newberry Street.

“The parent called,” says Lt. Karl Odenthal with Aiken Public Safety. “She wasn’t able to make contact with her children, so we responded to make sure everything was okay. That is when the officers observed the animals in the backyard.”

Lt. Odenthal tells us the children were fine, but the dogs were not.

According to the incident report, officers noticed a cage with a small puppy in it. Dead and frozen solid.

The other dog, a white female pitbull, was chained to a pole and had poor shelter.

Officers report both animals were very skinny. They could count the ribs from a distance.

Robyn Bacon was the owner of the dogs

“The officers decided that the best option was to go ahead and charge her with the offense, but not incarcerate her,” says Lt. Odenthal.

Lt. Odenthol says the officers who responded to the scene decided against arresting Bacon because the children at the home would have had no caretaker and Bacon’s job could have been jeopardized. This isn’t the first time Bacon has been in trouble with the law, back in September she was arrested for allegedly vandlizing a car. In 2016 she was arrested on two domestic violence charges.

I sat down with Robin Mitchell, Founder of a local dog non-profit, who says she is seeing plenty of cases locally where animals are being left in the cold. She showed me these pictures community members sent her during the past four days

“Charging someone is not going to stop this,” says Mitchell. “If someone doesn’t get the book thrown at them and made an example of, it’s not going to stop.”

The white pit bull is now being taken care of by SPCA.

Robin with Saving the Chain Dogs says it’s never safe to keep your dog out side with no shelter in below freezing temperatures.

When it’s cold, Robin tells me it’s best to have a dog house with hay straw, not blankets for warmth.