LACEY Wash. -- A Thurston County mother is charged with animal cruelty for allegedly allowing her young children to abuse their puppy. The charge comes after a neighbor stepped in last month by capturing video to provide as evidence to police.

The 14-week-old puppy, Bella, is now recovering. She is in the care of a foster family. Animal Service officers said considering the abuse, it's fortunate she's alive.

She s happy now and knows that the person saying 'come here,' isn t going to hit or kick her, said Officer Erika Johnson with Thurston County Animal Services.

Johnson said Bella's condition has improved from several weeks ago after she was abused repeatedly and suffered injuries to her tissues and spine.

Brandi Luckey says she watched her young neighbors, ages 7 and 3, abuse Bella for days before she and her boyfriend decided to get evidence on their phone.

The little boy on one part of the video laid across her and then the girl came and stepped on her neck and that s when I was like I can t do this,

Luckey's video has now helped prosecutors charge the children's mother, Natasha Pabon, with 2nd degree animal cruelty, a gross misdemeanor. Though she's not on the video, investigators claim she stood by and never stopped the abuse.

Especially children that young, I didn t understand why there was no intervention done, and therefore it was our intent to hold them accountable, said Johnson.

Johnson said she would have charged the children too, but prosecutors advised they were too young. If convicted, Pabon could face up to a year in jail with a $5,000 fine, and the Pabons may be prevented from having a pet for at least two years.

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