Lakewood woman pleads not guilty to drowning puppies

Ginger Hartson allegedly drowned the puppies one by one in a toilet tank after her landlord told her she couldn’t keep eight dogs in her Lakewood apartment.

Now, Pierce County prosecutors have charged the 34-year-old woman with four counts of animal cruelty. She pleaded not guilty Tuesday and was ordered held in lieu of $20,000 bail.

Hartson’s landlord called police Monday to report finding four dead puppies inside a dog food bag next to the complex’s Dumpster. Also inside the bag was a sign advertising puppies for $50.

The landlord said he overheard Hartson telling her young son, “If I didn’t kill them, the animal shelter would. Anyways, now it’s just you and me.”

Hartson admitted to police she’d drowned the pit bull terriers, which she’d named Growler, Luky, Loki Jr and Mamas Boy.

She originally had two dogs and six puppies, but was able to give two puppies to a friend.

Hartson allegedly told police she thought the animal shelter would euthanize the puppies.