SAN BRUNO (CBS SF) – A San Mateo County Superior Court jury has convicted a man and woman of felony animal cruelty by neglect for the death of their dog after it suffered severe burns in San Bruno in 2016, prosecutors said Monday.
Paul Souter, 29, was taking care of “Sprocket,” a 2-year-old Maltipoo dog owned by his girlfriend Shelby Lujan, 25, who came home from school on April 19, 2016, to be told by Souter that he had accidentally spilled hot water from a cup of tea onto the dog, according to the district attorney’s office.READ MORE: Berkeley Hills Residents Urged To Stay Elsewhere During Extreme Fire Weather
Neither Souter nor Lujan sought emergency care for the dog until two weeks later, when Lujan brought it to a veterinary clinic where it was found to have third-degree burns on 40 percent of its body. The burns were infected and the dog was in shock, and died within hours, prosecutors said.READ MORE: Fourth Stimulus Check: Is Another Relief Payment Coming Soon?
A forensic examiner concluded Sprocket couldn’t have suffered the injuries from spilled water and that they had to be intentionally inflicted. Souter was also charged with intentional infliction of animal cruelty, but the jury deadlocked on that charge Friday after convicting him and Lujan of the neglect charge.
Souter and Lujan remain out of custody on bail and will return to court on Jan. 29 for sentencing. Their defense attorneys were not immediately available to comment on the case.MORE NEWS: Dixie Fire Update: Firefighters Brace For 40 MPH Red Flag Winds; Flames Advance Toward Lake Almanor
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