REDWOOD CITY (BCN) — A San Bruno resident pleaded not guilty today to felony charges of animal cruelty for allegedly scalding his girlfriend’s small dog all over its body and failing to seek veterinary care for over a week.
Paul Souter entered the plea in a Redwood City courtroom to maliciously and intentionally wounding an animal and failing to provide proper care to an animal, according to prosecutors. The dog ultimately died from the injuries.
The alleged crimes happened on April 19, when Souter was home watching his live-in girlfriend’s 2-year-old Maltipoo dog “Sprocket” while he was at school.
When his girlfriend, Shelby Luhan, returned home Sprocket had been badly burned. Souter said it was because he had spilled water from a hot cup of tea on the dog, prosecutors said.The couple waited over a week to seek medical attention.
The couple waited over a week to seek medical attention. When they finally brought the dog to a veterinarian on May 1, Sprocket was in shock, emaciated and in such pain that the vet was unable to examine him, prosecutors said.Within hours the dog suffered cardiac arrest and died.
Within hours the dog suffered cardiac arrest and died. The Peninsula Humane Society stepped in to investigate how the dog became so badly injured.
Investigators found evidence that the dog had suffered third-degree burns on 40 percent of its body, including on its chest, genitals, bottom, tail and all four legs and paws.
The injuries suggested that the dog wasn’t injured by a spill, but in fact lowered into scalding liquid.
Souter was arrested Aug. 21 in Bend, Oregon, and extradited to the Bay Area. He was released on $100,000 bail on the condition he not reside with or possess any animals while the case proceeds.
Souter is scheduled to return to court for a preliminary hearing on Oct. 18. Luhan is charged with failing to provide proper care for an animal and is scheduled to return to court on Oct. 6.