Self-described ‘Austin dog whisperer’ faces animal cruelty charge

FILE - Austin Police vehicle (KXAN File Photo)
FILE - Austin Police vehicle (KXAN File Photo)

AUSTIN (KXAN) — An arrest warrant has been issued Monday for an Austin dog trainer accused of cruelty to animals.

Lynn Adams, 59, a self-described “dog whisperer,” is facing a charge of cruelty to non-livestock animals, a state jail felony.

On the evening of Aug. 15, two Austin police officers were flagged down at the Studio 6 Extended Stay Motel near US 183 and Spicewood Springs Road. A witness told officers there was a woman lifting a puppy into the air by the leash for about 5 seconds. The witness told officers the dog defecated while being held in the air. A veterinarian told police this could be the result of extreme fear of death or asphyxiation.

The 20-pound black Labrador puppy named Chloe was wearing a metal pinch collar, a controversial dog training tool not generally used on puppies, police say. When officers located Adams, they saw her yelling at the dog and yanking the leash with both hands hard enough to send the dog backward 3-4 feet, yelping in pain. Another witness said Adams had dragged the puppy through the parking lot.

An officer noted the puppy appeared to be scared and trying to get away from Adams. When she was about to yank the leash again, the officer told her to stop. Adams said she was training the puppy, claiming it had bitten multiple people. Officers did not see any aggression from the puppy, but suspected Adams was intoxicated.

Since the dog did not belong to Adams, officers contacted the owner who asked that they remove the dog from Adams. In a separate incident on Oct. 5, 2015, a woman called 911 after seeing Adams pick up a small gray poodle and slammed it the ground multiple times while cursing and yelling at the dog, the arrest warrant continues. Police say there were no apparent injuries to the dogs in either incident.

Once arrested, and if she posts a $10,000 bond, conditions will include no contact with any dogs, supervision and an anger management evaluation.