OMAHA, Neb. —
"Ayeshea Colbenson sits tearful in court as she faces an animal neglect charge.
Nebraska Humane Society investigators say Colbenson knowingly starved her 1 year old Lab-Pitbull mix, Bella.
“Starvation for an animal is a very painful death. There’s no reason in the world that she could not have fed the dog,” said Mark Langan of the Nebraska Humane Society. “The investigation shows she just neglected to do it, while the dog starved to death in the apartment and she was living there.”
KETV spoke with Colbenson after her sentencing, she says she did the best she could.
“I know I did the best for my dog,” Colbenson said. “I know calling [the human society] was going to get me in trouble. I took the charge so no one else could take it in my house.”
Prosecutors say Colbenson is diagnosed with several mental illnesses including bipolar disorder and PTSD. That long list of mental disorders is what caused Judge Leigh Ann Reteldorf to struggle when determining what sentence would be best for Colbenson.
The woman could’ve been sentenced to two years in prison, or five years of strict probation. Reteldorf expressed her concern that Colbenson wouldn’t receive the treatment needed in prison, saying her mental health would depreciate.
"For the most part medication would be sporadic,” said the judge. “She would not be available to her therapist and psychiatrist who know her medical history.”
Reteldorf also debated in probation was a harsh enough punishment.
“So many people, myself included, just get that gut feeling that it depreciates the severity of the crime,” said the judge.
Ultimately Colbenson was sentenced to 5 years of probation. The judge added a restriction that Colbenson can’t own any animals for the next 15 years.
“My mental health deteriorated while in jail,” Colbensen said."
“I know calling [the human society] was going to get me in trouble." So she was aware it was wrong.
"The judge added a restriction that Colbenson can’t own any animals for the next 15 years." She should never, ever be allowed to own any animals.