Sultan man faces felony charge in assault on puppy
Prosecutors allege that Kenneth Palmer beat a pitbull-mix puppy because he was angry that the dog wasn't housebroken. The animal suffered severe trauma, but is expected to make a full recovery, court papers said.
Palmer, 43, was charged Friday with first-degree animal cruelty. He is expected to answer to the charge later this month in Snohomish County Superior Court.
Police were called Oct. 17 to a home in Sultan, where Palmer was a houseguest. A neighbor reported that she saw Palmer kick 2-month-old Precious across her neighbors' yard and pick the dog up by the throat. Concerned for the puppy, she ran toward the pair. She told police Palmer had the animal by the throat and was hitting her head against a porch floor.
The woman screamed for Palmer to stop. She told police the puppy belonged to the homeowners, her neighbors.
Palmer allegedly told the woman the dog was his and repeatedly talked about the puppy defecating everywhere, Snohomish County deputy prosecutor Cheryl Johnson wrote in court papers.
The woman threatened to call 911 if Palmer didn't hand over the dog. She told police that eventually Palmer tossed Precious to her. The woman was able to catch the dog. She fled and called 911. Palmer allegedly chased after the woman, but she warned him that she would defend herself if he stepped onto her property. Palmer left.
Precious was vomiting and unable to hold up her head or walk, court papers said.
The puppy was taken to Pilchuck Veterinary Hospital, where an ultrasound revealed internal bleeding, most likely involving the liver or spleen. A veterinarian said that type of severe trauma is typically only present if a dog has been hit by a car or kicked in the stomach. The puppy also had an injury to her eye, either from direct trauma to the eye or increased blood pressure due to strangulation.
When police questioned Palmer, he reportedly told them that he was disciplining the dog because she wouldn't go outside to defecate, court papers said. He said "maybe" he shouldn't have kicked or thrown the puppy. He later allegedly told an animal control officer that Precious was "just" a dog.
The man told police he already owes the courts 16 hours in anger management classes.
Diana Hefley: 425-339-3463; firstname.lastname@example.org.
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