Suspect Sought in Poodle’s Abuse

The County Department of Animal Services is asking the public for help finding the person responsible for winding rubber bands around a dog’s muzzle so tightly she suffered severe injuries.

On Jan. 3, a resident in the 2900 block of Ocean View Boulevard in San Diego contacted the department regarding an injured dog running loose in a nearby park.  An animal control officer responded and found an adult female white poodle with multiple rubber bands around the muzzle.

The dog was immediately transported to the department’s animal care facility on Gaines Street, where veterinary staff removed the rubber bands and treated the dog’s injuries. The rubber bands had been on the dog for so long that the bands had cut all the way down to the bones in the dog’s muzzle.

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“This may have been some sick attempt to keep this sweet dog from barking,” stated Dawn Danielson, the Director of Animal Services.  “However, their actions have caused this poor dog to suffer horrendous pain for a very long time.”

Based upon the seriousness of the dog’s injuries, the department has started an animal abuse investigation.

Animal Services is seeking any information as to who may own the dog or any information leading to the identity of the person who committed the crime.  People with information are asked to call the department’s patrol supervisors at Gaines Street at (619) 767-2740 or Crime Stoppers at (888) 580-8477.

If convicted of animal cruelty, a suspect could face up to three years in prison, a fine of up to $20,000 or both.

The dog is being treated for her extensive injuries at the animal care facility on Gaines Street and will not be made available for adoption at this time.

Anyone who may need help with training their dog should seek out the advice of trainers who use only positive reinforcement methods.


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Tracy DeFore is a communications specialist with the County of San Diego Communications Office. Contact