Weber County woman arrested on felony animal cruelty charge

Victoria Dudnik. Photo Courtesy: Weber County Jail

WEBER COUNTY, Utah, Nov. 17, 2020 (Gephardt Daily) — A Weber County woman has been arrested on a felony animal cruelty charge after a dog was found in her home with four broken legs, a broken jaw, a skull fracture, and broken ribs.

A probable cause statement from the 2nd District Court of Ogden said Victoria Dudnik, 21, is facing a charge of cruelty to animals intentional/knowingly, a third-degree felony.

On Sept. 15, South Ogden Animal Control officers responded to Dudnik’s address in the area of 6160 S. 1275 East to pick up an injured dog, three cats, and one deceased cat, at the request of the landlord.

“Animal Control officers located a dead kitten that was wrapped in a washcloth, and placed in a cardboard box, and a small dog could not stand up and smelled very strongly of infection,” the statement said. “Officers noticed that the dog had a wound on top of its head and a swollen jaw. The dog was emaciated and had no access to water, and appeared to have a broken hip or pelvis as the dog was unable to put any weight on it.”

The dog was later identified as one that was reported missing from the Humane Society. The injured dog was taken to a veterinarian and follow up determined it had four broken legs, multiple fractures, a broken jaw, a skull fracture, and broken ribs, which were all in different stages of healing. The dog also flatlined twice while the vet was treating it for these injuries, the statement said.

An officer also searched Dudnik’s house and allegedly observed blood and animal feces on the walls, floor and clothing throughout the residence, the statement said.

“The officer followed up with neighbors who reported hearing banging noises coming from Victoria’s condo along with yipping simultaneously,” the statement said. “The neighbors reported that this happened on numerous occasions. Neighbors had recordings of the dog screaming loudly with several bangs.”

The suspect’s mother asked her about the dog and Dudnik allegedly said that she had found the dog in the road and she picked it up because it looked like it had been hit by a car. The vet who treated the dog stated that the injuries that the dog had were not consistent with the dog being hit by vehicle.

On Saturday, officers located Dudnik and she was questioned about the dog after being read her her Miranda rights.

“Victoria admitted to having the dog, and being aware that the dog was injured and not seeking medical help for the dog,” the statement said. “Victoria denied injuring the dog. Victoria did state that she would punish the dog by hitting it on his butt if it peed in the house.”

Dudnik said she knew the dog was injured badly because it could not walk, and it would scream every time she would move it. She said she neglected seeking medical attention for the dog because she could not afford it.

A separate probable cause statement said Dudnik is also facing a charge of distribute/offer/arrange distribution of a controlled substance, a third-degree felony, and use or possession of drug paraphernalia, a class B misdemeanor.

That statement said that when the officer went to Dudnik’s home in reference to the animal abuse case, a very strong odor of marijuana was coming from the home. Officers drafted another search warrant and it was approved.

“In plain view were two large bags of marijuana and a bong,” the statement said. “Additional items located were a digital scale with marijuana residue inside the bowl atop and another pipe. The suspect admitted that it was marijuana in raw form and stated ‘It’s just two ounces.'” It was later weighed and showed 57.86 grams.

A consent search of the suspect’s phone yielded “many Snapchat photos and photos in an app, advertising the same substance found and identified in different measurements with Snapchat filters that said ‘open for business $25/gram,” the statement said. After being read her Miranda rights, Dudnik allegedly admitted to selling marijuana on Snapchat and through texts and calls.

She was transported to Weber County Jail, where she was subsequently ordered to be released with conditions.


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