The Bakersfield woman who was caught on video dragging a small dog behind a scooter pleaded not guilty to felony animal cruelty charges in court Monday.
Elaine Rosa remains free on bail but is not allowed to possess any animals pending the outcome of the case. She appeared in court with her attorney, Bo Koenig.
A preliminary hearing has been set for April 17.
The felony, and a misdemeanor charge of failing to provide animal care, were filed Feb. 15 against the 39-year-old.
Two local Facebook posts showed photos and video of a woman identified as Rosa riding a Bird electric scooter Jan. 6 in downtown Bakersfield and dragging a dog. Police said Rosa is not the dog's owner.
The dog, named Zebra, received medical treatment, and a medical plan was established with a veterinarian and the dog's legal owner to address its injuries, police said.
The felony charge carries a maximum penalty of three years in jail and up to a $20,000 fine, and the misdemeanor is punishable by up to six months in jail.
Rosa worked as a contracted psychologist at Kern Valley State Prison. Her contract was terminated a day after the incident, which occurred in the 2100 block of Pine Street.
In a January Facebook post showing photos of a woman identified as Rosa holding the dog, Brandon Sanders wrote, "While riding bikes downtown on A and 20th street, we watched this (woman) riding one of the Bird Scooters at about 15 MPH dragging this poor dog behind her by a leash."
"The dog was on its side and we watched it being drug at least 100 yards and there's no telling how long she had been dragging it for before we saw her," he wrote. "You can see that its paws are all completely bloody. I was unable to get a good picture of the poor dog's side."
In the days following the incident, a group gathered outside police headquarters and the District Attorney's office urging an arrest be made.