Case Snapshot
Case ID: 20042
Classification: Beating, Shooting, Theft
Animal: dog (pit-bull)
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Prosecutor(s): Christy Rhoades May
Defense(s): Ralph Williams
Judge(s): Clayton Davis

For more information about the Interactive Animal Cruelty Maps, see the map notes.

Thursday, Nov 21, 2013

County: Calcasieu

Charges: Felony CTA
Disposition: Convicted

Defendant/Suspect: Tyler Scott Sanders

Case Updates: 2 update(s) available

A 20-year-old local man has been accused of stealing and then abusing a pit-bull puppy, city police said.

Deputy Chief Mark Kraus said Tyler Scott Sanders has been charged with aggravated cruelty to animals and animal theft.

"The arrest stems from an investigation that began when a puppy was stolen from a residence on Arkansas Street," Kraus said Wednesday in a news release. "On Nov. 21, the puppy was recovered by Animal Services after receiving an injured animal call from a concerned mail carrier."

Kraus said the puppy had severe life-threatening injuries including broken bones, a fractured skull and multiple pellet gun wounds.

"The puppy, now known as Halo, is on the road to recovery but still suffers from limited mobility and vision," Kraus said.

Case Updates

A Lake Charles man was sentenced to five years in prison Thursday after pleading guilty to abusing a dog he had stolen.

Tyler Scott Sanders, 21, pleaded guilty as charged to aggravated cruelty to animals and theft of animals over $500. Judge Clayton Davis sentenced him to 10 years, with five years suspended. Davis also sentenced him to a $5,000 fine and five years' probation. Sanders will have to serve at least 85 percent of his sentence.

Sanders reportedly stole Halo, a pit bull puppy, from the backyard of a residence on Arkansas Street on Aug. 16 and abused the animal during the time it was in his possession -- until Nov. 21, when a mail carrier found the animal.

"I think it's a fair resolution because it holds the defendant accountable, there's a significant punishment factor and there's significant time over his head where he'll be monitored," prosecutor Christy Rhoades May said. "It sends a clear message to the community that the DA's office takes these crimes very seriously and the judges at the 14th JDC take them seriously as well."

The dog suffered permanent damage to its sight and mobility, May said, and will eventually need to have its right front leg amputated.

The dog is doing "really well," said Renee Smith, of Lake Charles Pit Bull Rescue, although he has begun taking nerve pills in preparation for the amputation.

"I am pleased with the outcome because I think it makes a statement that people can't get away with animal cruelty," Smith said.

She said she plans for the dog, which is now in her care, to become a therapy dog.

After the dog was stolen, Halo's original owners posted "missing" signs, even giving one to Sanders, who threw it away, "proving he knew who the rightful owners were and chose not to give the animal back," May said while telling Davis the facts of the case.

Witnesses said Sanders repeatedly abused the animal and shot it three times in the head with a pellet gun, May said. Three pellets remain in the dog's head, she said. The dog had broken bones and showed signs of blunt-force trauma to its face and head.

When he is released from prison, Sanders must pay full restitution for all Halo's medical bills, have no contact with dogs, have no contact with witnesses and perform community service.

The court also dealt with charges Sanders accumulated in four other incidents. Sanders pleaded guilty to DWI and marijuana possession, although prosecutors dropped charges from the other two dockets " reckless operation and unlawful purchase or public possession of alcohol.

Sanders received the DWI after he was found to have a 0.10 blood-alcohol level on March 3, 2012, May said. He was stopped by state police after he was seen accelerating and spinning out of control, she said.

On Jan. 28, 2012, he was arrested for marijuana possession at the mall, May said. Lake Charles police found the marijuana as they searched him for shoplifting a lighter.

After May read the facts on all Sanders' charges, Davis asked him if he admitted to them.

"Yes, sir," he replied.

Defense attorney Ralph Williams said he did not wish to comment.
Source: American Press - April 3, 2014
Update posted on Apr 20, 2014 - 4:50AM 
A 20-year-old man accused of shooting a stolen pit bull puppy three times in the head with a pellet gun has pleaded not guilty in state district court.

Tyler Scott Sanders faces charges of aggravated cruelty to animals and theft of animals over $500.

He entered his plea on Monday.

Sanders is alleged to have stolen the dog between Aug. 16 and Nov. 21. When the puppy, Halo, was found, authorities said one of the dog's legs was broken, its skull was cracked and it was blind in one eye.

Sanders requested a trial by jury.
Source: KNOE - Feb 4, 2014
Update posted on Apr 20, 2014 - 4:48AM 


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