A Redwood City man charged with animal cruelty spent a month torturing the family’s 4-month-old puppy by spraying household cleaner in its eyes and taping his mouth shut before eventually suffocating the animal, according to prosecutors.
On Monday, Alan Velete, 31, pleaded not guilty to that felony along with misdemeanor charges of child endangerment for allegedly committing some of the abuse in front of his 4-year-old daughter and violating a court order barring him from having contact with the girl’s mother.
Redwood City police arrested Velete Thursday on the 300 block of Redwood Avenue after responding to a report of animal cruelty at the apartment of his girlfriend’s mother where the family was staying.
Prosecutors say Velete was angry the terrier mix puppy, Lucky, defecated on the floor so he spent a month torturing the animal before killing it. The abuse included keeping him crated in the bathroom, punching and kicking, feeding him his bipolar medications, taping his mouth shut, spraying household cleaner in his eyes and hanging him in a duffel bag from the shower while he whimpered, said District Attorney Steve Wagstaffe.
Velete eventually suffocated Lucky and took him away in a duffel bag after which the girlfriend’s mother, who had been too terrified to contact authorities before, finally called the police, Wagstaffe said.
Velete reportedly blamed the actions on mental issues.
Velete, who has prior convictions for assault and domestic violence, is on both felony and misdemeanor probation.
In court Monday, Velete asked for a court-appointed attorney and had bail set at $37,500. He returns to court Jan. 27 for a preliminary hearing.
He remains in custody.
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