Online community calls for punishment of animal trainer - KAIT-Jonesboro, AR-News, weather, sports

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Online community calls for punishment of animal trainer

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CLARKSVILLE, TN (WSMV) -

A woman trusted to train service dogs is now accused of starving animals and leaving animal remains at two residences.

Facebook pages have started to emerge for people who say they were duped by Nicole Hulbig of RRR Service Dogs, an organization meant to rescue and train service animals. With her arrest, many of the people behind the Facebook posts are stepping forward to share their stories of what they experienced.

"She's a very good manipulator and a very good liar," said Leah Patterson, of Clarksville. "I definitely don't need to see Nicki right now. I'm disgusted with her."

"It's heartbreaking what she's done, but she was an incredible scam artist," added Anna Meacham, of Clarksville. "It's amazing to me that she got away with this for so long."

Last week, Hulbig and husband Eric were arrested when four dead puppies were found in their Clarksville home. Speaking by phone Friday, Hulbig told Channel 4 neither she nor her husband had been at the house in weeks and she didn't know how the dogs got there.

"Obviously, that's incredibly disturbing, worrisome, upsetting and shocking," said Hulbig. "I don't know if there are even words for that because no one wants to think someone could do that."

Then, at the home of Hulbig's mother in Cottontown, police said they found 37 bags of animal remains while 39 dogs were seized.

"He was 89.6 pounds when she took him, he is now 55 pounds," Patterson said, motioning to her German Shepherd she said was taken from the home. "They brought him out, and I was completely appalled by what I saw. I just hit my knees crying and hugged him. He stunk so bad, and I didn't care."

Heather Shults, of Clarksville, said she gave thousands in donations to Hulbig for a service dog for her husband that never came.

"My husband needs this service dog," said Shults. "He has sleep apnea, he has TBI, he has PTSD, he has night terrors and he has visions."

"I am so angry," said Patterson. "I am beyond words angry. She needs to go to jail, and she needs to stay there for a very long time to realize what she's done."

Calls to Hulbig Tuesday were not returned. She told Channel 4 on Friday that she didn't have any dogs in her possession. That statement was made before the findings in Sumner County were made public. Hulbig also said the whole situation is a misunderstanding, and she'll be clearing her name in court.

Hulbig is charged with four counts of aggravated animal cruelty in Montgomery County in addition to eight counts of animal cruelty in Sumner County.

Eric Hulbig was set to appear at court on Wednesday in Montgomery County. That hearing has been rescheduled for June 20, the same day Nicole Hulbig is set for a court appearance.

Copyright 2014 WSMV (Meredith Corporation). All rights reserved.

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