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Monday, Jun 6, 2005County: Arapahoe
Case Images: 1 files available
Alleged: Lindsey Sturgeon
A pet owner in Colorado been cited with animal cruelty after a 1 and a half year-old dog was found with a collar so tight that it had to be surgically removed.
A female black chow husky mix named Bear was picked up June 6 after Aurora animal control officers received a call about an injured dog running around the neighborhood.
Animal control officer Bettina Canham said that when she first spotted the dog, Bear was hiding behind a bush and was afraid to come out.
Canham said that she immediately noticed a pungent "smell of flesh," but the dog had so much hair that she didn't know what was wrong. When she finally captured Bear, she pushed aside the overgrown hair and saw that the collar had cut through several inches of muscle and flesh and Bear had a festering, open wound.
Bear was taken to Aurora's animal shelter, where she went through two emergency surgeries.
A veterinarian who operated on the dog said that the collar was so tight that had they waited another day, the restraint would have cut through Bear's windpipe and killed her.
It appears that the suffocating collar was put on when Bear was just a puppy and never changed as the puppy grew bigger, Canham said.
Aurora animal control officers tracked down the dog's owner, identified as 32-year-old Lindsey Sturgeon, and cited him for animal cruelty.
Sturgeon denied that Bear was his dog, although his two kids had asked if animal control officers had found "Bear," their dog, according to the summons. Sturgeon said that he took care of the black dog once in a while but he did not own it. He said the dog just hung around his family and his two rottweilers.
Sturgeon was supposed to appear in court last week but was a no-show. A warrant has been issued for his arrest.
Bear, who has now been nicknamed "Frankie" because the stitches on her neck are reminiscent of Frankenstein's neck, will be available for adoption next week.
Anyone who would like to donate to Bear's medical fund can also call the Aurora Animal Shelter, which can be reached at (303) 326-8280. The cost of her surgeries was $1,000.
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