Police: Iowa woman used knife, tongs to perform surgery on dog at home

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AMES, Iowa -- A woman in Iowa was arrested on Friday for animal neglect after she allegedly performed surgery on her dog at home.

Police arrested 26-year-old Sarah Diane McMenamin after she allegedly attempted to remove an obstruction from her dog using a paring knife and tongs.

The dog was just 2 1/2 months old and did not survive the procedure.

WHO-TV reports McMenamin admitted to police that she cut open the dog with the knife and tongs in order to retrieve a bowel obstruction.

Veterinarians told McMenamin that without the operation, the dog would have to be euthanized.

Police told KCCI-TV that she arranged to have the dog euthanized at a different veterinary clinic, but did not show up, which caused them to call police.

She told police that she couldn’t afford to pay a veterinarian to do the surgery and thought she could do it herself because she castrated pigs when she lived on a farm.

Police told KCCI that it caused the dog “unjustified pain, distress or suffering."

"Dangerous doesn't even begin to explain what it is. It's cruel," Donna Rizzo, a veterinarian with the Pet Medical Center of Ames, told WHO-TV.

"When we do surgeries on animals, we totally anesthetize them so they have no idea what's happening, and then we wake them up very slowly, and even when they're waking up we give them pain relievers for after the surgery, and so I couldn't imagine being able to do surgery on something wide awake."

Twenty other animals were taken from the home, including other dogs, cats, guinea pigs, rabbits and geckos.

McMenamin has been charged with animal neglect. If convicted,  she faces a maximum one year in jail, according to KCCI.