SAN FRANCISCO, Calif. (KRON) — A Golden Retriever puppy named Charlie is making a full recovery after he was physically abused by his owner.
In September 2020, the San Francisco Animal Care & Control (SFACC) seized the four-month-old puppy after several neighbors reported that they heard and saw the dog being abused.
A veterinarian who had treated the puppy also discovered alarming information about previous injuries that the puppy sustained while living with its owner.
This week, the District Attorney’s Office charged 28-year-old Brian Michael Cook with misdemeanor animal cruelty and neglect.
Cook pleaded guilty to the misdemeanor charges including one-year probation, a no animal condition for five years, fifty days in county jail to be served via the Sheriff’s Work Alternative Program and community service, mandatory counseling, and restitution.
“Abuse of animals will not be tolerated in the City and County of San Francisco, said San Francisco District Attorney Chesa Boudin.
“Charlie’s injuries were the result of repeated abuse, and I am proud of our office’s work to hold Charlie’s abuser accountable for his actions.”
An investigation led by the SFACC found that in Charlie’s short four months of life, he had sustained a wrist fracture, a spinal vertebrae fracture, multiple rib fractures in different stages of healing, and a hip fracture that required surgery.
SFACC also found that Cook previously owned a one-year-old dog named Beau, who had died of traumatic injuries similar to the Charlie’s.
According to the SFACC, a post-mortem exam of Beau showed several fractures in various states of healing caused by multiple incidents of physical abuse.
Animal Control Officers were able to obtain a search warrant to Cook’s property to gather additional evidence.
“We depend on the help of the community to provide information about suspected animal abuse,” said Virginia Donohue, Executive Director of San Francisco Animal Care & Control.
“Animal abuse is often a precursor to the abuse of humans and must be taken seriously.”
Charlie was luckily rescued before further harm could be inflicted.
He was able to get surgery for his hip injury at the SFACC and was placed in a foster home during his recovery.
In the end, the foster family decided to adopt Charlie and make him a permanent part of their lives.
The SFACC said Charlie is healthy and thriving in their care.
“If you see something, say something”
The SFACC reminds the public that it relies on the community to be its eyes and ears — to report animal emergencies call 415-554-9400.
A small team of officers with the SFACC responds to animal-related emergencies from 6 a.m. to 6 p.m.