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Margaret Werker, 73, charged with cruelty to animals. Photo courtesy of Colorado Springs Police Department.

A 73-year-old Colorado Springs woman was charged with felony animal cruelty after she tried to poison her neighbor's dog, the Humane Society of the Pikes Peak Region announced Thursday. 

Margaret Werker is seen on her neighbor's surveillance tape throwing a "substance" over the fence into his backyard, aimed toward his dog, Wrigley. The substance later tested positive for poisonous material, according to the Humane Society. 

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Wrigley ignored the bait.

"Poisoning cases can be very difficult to investigate and charge because usually there is very little evidence linking a suspect to the crime," the Humane Society said in a news release.

In April, the neighbor called animal law enforcement officers to report Werker for what he'd found on his surveillance footage. On May 4, police arrested her on suspicion of aggravated cruelty to animals. 

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The problem may have arisen from previous complaints about barking dogs, HSPPR Assistant Director Lindsey Vigna told Gazette news partner KKTV.

"There were some concerns with some complaints about a barking dog in that area. We weren’t really ever able to pinpoint down who it was coming from. But we believe that’s where it stemmed from, a barking issue."

Werker pleaded guilty to the charge July 9 on a deferred sentence, the release read. In a fitting end to the case, a judge also ordered her to donate $250 to HSPPR. 

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Multimedia Journalist

Liz is a multimedia journalist with a specific interest in environment and outdoor recreation. She watches way too much Star Trek and is working toward her rescue scuba divers certification. Liz joined the Gazette staff in 2019.

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