Superior Court Judge Eric Lucas told the man that a step-by-step book from Petco would have been more productive than physically assaulting the animal.
"It's not that difficult," Lucas said.
Kenneth Palmer was sentenced to 30 days in jail for the Oct. 17 incident. He had already served 45 days and was expected to be released Tuesday. Palmer, 44, also was ordered to complete a class on preventing animal cruelty. Lucas banned Palmer from ever again owning dogs, or similar pets, or even residing in a home with dogs.
Palmer apologized, saying he was "just trying to discipline the puppy," but admitted he'd only owned a cat in the past.
"I'll never discipline another pet again as long as I live," he said.
Palmer pleaded guilty last week to first-degree animal cruelty. He faced up to a year in jail. Prosecutors recommended the 30-day sentence and asked for 10 months of community supervision. Snohomish County deputy prosecutor Robert Grant also pushed for the defendant to be required to attend a class about animal abuse.
Palmer was accused of beating a pitbull-mix puppy because he was angry that the dog wasn't housebroken. The animal suffered internal bleeding but has since made a full recovery.
The incident came to the attention of police after a neighbor reported seeing Palmer kick Precious across a yard and pick the dog up by the throat. The woman told police Palmer later had the animal by the throat and was hitting her head against a porch floor.
The woman screamed for Palmer to stop. 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 police.
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.
Palmer on Tuesday was ordered to pay $753 to the Snohomish County Auditor's Office, which oversees animal control services.
Diana Hefley: 425-339-3463; firstname.lastname@example.org.
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