Photo courtesy of Peninsula Humane Society
A 2-year-old Maltipoo named Sprocket died from severe burns in May and an investigation into its death by the Peninsula Humane Society has led to the arrest of the dog's owners.
A San Bruno woman and her boyfriend face felony charges of animal cruelty after their dog Sprocket died from severe burns.
An investigation determined the dog died from injuries sustained from being placed into scalding liquid back in May, according to the Peninsula Humane Society, which conducted an investigation into the dog’s death.
Sprocket’s owner Shelby Lujan brought it to an emergency veterinary clinic on May 1, more than a week after she claimed it was injured, according to PHS.
It was suffering from third-degree burns on 40 percent of its body. The emergency clinic tried to save the 2-year-old dog but it succumbed to its injuries and died a few hours later, according to PHS.
Lujan, 22, and her boyfriend Paul Souter claimed that a cup of boiling water was accidentally spilled into Sprocket’s crate, according to PHS.
But an expert forensic veterinarian determined that the pattern and severity of injuries was due to non-accidental, intentional burning of Sprocket, a Maltese/poodle mix or Maltipoo. The burn pattern was consistent with the dog being lowered or placed in a scalding liquid, according to PHS.
Lujan posted bail and is due back in court for a pretrial conference Oct. 6.
Souter, however, was arrested in Bend, Oregon, on a warrant and will be extradited to San Mateo County by the end of the week, Assistant District Attorney Al Serrato said.
“The details of this case are horrific,” Ken White, president of Peninsula Humane Society & SPCA, wrote in a statement. “After the scalding, the poor dog endured days of horrendous suffering. We hope our investigation will provide the evidence needed to bring Sprocket justice, and ensure that his owners are unable to hurt any other animals.”
The Peninsula Humane Society and SPCA is a private, independent, nonprofit animal welfare organization for San Mateo. Its Humane Investigations Department, which is funded entirely by donations from individuals, led the investigation.
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