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Puppy killer may get mental treatment, not prison
August 29, 2014, 05:00 AM By Michelle Durand Daily Journal

Alan Velete

Sentencing for a Redwood City man facing three years in prison for torturing and killing the family puppy was postponed Thursday so he can be considered instead for the county’s mental health court.

Prosecutors are seeking the maximum allowed under the terms of Alan Benjamin Velete’s no contest plea to felony animal cruelty and misdemeanor child endangerment. However, at his defense attorney’s request, a judge is considering referring Velete to Pathways although it was not part of the original negotiated settlement. If accepted, Velete, 32, will receive treatment and supervised probation. To qualify, he must be a county resident and have a documented mental condition which his attorney previously told the Daily Journal he does. He returns to court Sept. 5.

After his client took the plea deal, attorney Naresh Rajan said Velete’s mental issues don’t excuse his crimes but help explain why they occurred.

Prosecutors say Velete, who is on both felony and misdemeanor probation for prior assault and domestic violence convictions, was angry the terrier mix puppy, Lucky, defecated on the floor so he spent a month torturing the animal before killing it. The abuse reportedly included keeping him crated in the bathroom, punching and kicking, feeding him his bipolar medication, taping his mouth shut, spraying household cleaner in his eyes and hanging him in a duffel bag from the shower while he whimpered. Some of the abuse happened in front of Velete’s 4-year-old daughter which led to the child endangerment charge.

Velete eventually suffocated Lucky and took him away in a duffel bag after which the girlfriend’s mother, who had reportedly been too terrified to contact authorities before, finally called the police to the apartment, according to prosecutors.

Velete remains in custody on $50,000 bail pending his sentencing hearing.


(650) 344-5200 ext. 102



Tags: velete, which, prosecutors, mental, velete,

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