Woman charged in Macon dog deaths makes first court appearance

alopez@macon.comNovember 15, 2013 

Shelter_first_Appearance

Crystal Gale Fessler , center, made her first appearance in court Friday on charges stemming from a break in at the All About Animals shelter in Macon. A number of dogs were killed during the break in while others were badly wounded.

ANDRES DAVID LOPEZ — alopez@macon.com Buy Photo

Crystal Gale Fessler, who is accused of criminal trespass and animal cruelty in connection to a break-in at a no-kill animal shelter last month, made her first court appearance Friday.

Fessler appeared before Judge Jane Reeves at the Bibb County Law Enforcement Center and was asked if she understood why she was arrested.

Stating that she did, Fessler signed a waiver to avoid a commitment hearing, where an investigator would have explained the charges against her.

Macon police arrested Fessler on Thursday afternoon and charged her with criminal trespass, 13 counts of cruelty to animals and a probation violation. The charges are all classified as misdemeanors.

She is the only person arrested in the Oct. 17 incident at the All About Animals shelter when dozens of dogs, many pitbull and bulldog mixes, were found to have been let loose from their pens. A massive dogfight ensued, leaving three dogs dead and several severely injured.

Thursday night, Police Chief Mike Carswell would not say whether other arrests are expected.

Fessler was awarded a bond of $9,100, which includes $650 for the criminal trespass charge and $8,450 for the animal cruelty charges.

Conditions of her bond include staying away from the All About Animals shelter, avoiding possession of any weapons or controlled substances and not breaking any other laws.

The case will now move to State Court.

No new information was released by investigators Friday, but a police news conference about the case is scheduled for Monday morning.

To contact writer Andres Lopez, call 744-4382.

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