BY KEN LITTLE
The animal cruelty case of Roger L. Miscovitch and Susan R. Miscovitch took a strange turn Monday afternoon when Susan Miscovitch was removed from Greene County General Sessions Court and charged with public intoxication.
Roger Miscovitch, 71, and Susan Miscovitch, both of Good Hope Road in Parrottsville, were charged Aug. 29 with misdemeanor counts of animal cruelty after allegedly leaving two dogs in a parked car in a Greeneville Medical Group parking lot, near Takoma Regional Hospital.
Because Susan Miscovitch was unavailable to appear Monday for a preliminary hearing on the animal cruelty charge, Judge Kenneth Bailey Jr. continued the proceeding to Dec. 20.
Susan Miscovitch, 55, was seen "slumped over in her seat" in court, Sheriff's Deputy Chuck Humphreys said in a report.
"After getting her to wake up, I found her to be very lethargic, unsteady on her feet and (she) performed poorly on field sobriety tests," the report said.
Miscovitch told deputies that she took two Xanax pills.
Miscovitch, 55, posted $300 bond and is scheduled to appear Wednesday in General Sessions Court on the public intoxication charge.
Several witnesses who were subpoenaed to testify at Monday's hearing must return on Dec. 20, along with Greeneville police Officer Gina Holt, who investigated the Aug. 29 incident.
"I do apologize that Ms. Miscovitch was arrested for public intoxication," Bailey told the witnesses.
One of two dogs found locked in the overheated car on Aug. 29 while the couple were at a doctor's appointment did not recover from the trauma and had to be euthanized.
The other dog did recover and remains in the custody of the Greeneville-Greene County Humane Society. The Miscovitches seek the return of the surviving dog.
Greeneville police were called on Aug. 29 to the parking lot "regarding two dogs that had been shut in a car for around two hours," a report said.
A female Shar-Pei mix dog that Susan Miscovitch said was hers "could not stand and appeared to be having a seizure," a report said. That dog had to be euthanized the next day.
The outside temperature was 90 degrees when the dogs were freed from the car by police.
Witnesses told police one window in the Mercedes two-seat car was cracked open several inches, but the other window was shut.
At least two people who saw the dogs in the car went into the nearby hospital to call police and find the owners.
"There was no food or water available," the police report said.