A Redwood City man accused of torturing a puppy to death in front of his 4-year-old daughter has been charged with felony animal cruelty and child endangerment, the San Mateo County district attorney said today.
Alan Velete, 31, on Monday pleaded not guilty to both charges in San Mateo County Superior Court, District Attorney Steve Wagstaffe said.
Prosecutors allege that Velete began abusing the animal in early December when he moved into his girlfriend's mother's Redwood City apartment with his girlfriend and their young daughter, Wagstaffe said.
The family owned a 4-month-old terrier puppy named "Lucky," he said.
Velete allegedly became enraged when Lucky defecated inside the apartment, sparking episodes of torture over the next four weeks that included punching and kicking the dog, spraying household cleaner in its eyes and taping its mouth shut, Wagstaffe said.
Prosecutors further allege that Velete force-fed the puppy his own psychiatric medicine, and that much of the abuse took place in front of the defendant's daughter, the district attorney said.
The dog died by being suffocated on Jan. 6, prosecutors said. Velete put the body in a duffel bag and threw it in a garbage bin.
His girlfriend's mother made an anonymous report to police after the dog was killed, Wagstaffe said.
Velete was arrested three days later and remains in San Mateo County Jail in lieu of $37,500 bail.
In addition to the charges of animal abuse and child endangerment, Velete has been charged with violating a court-ordered restraining order to stay away from his girlfriend's mother, Wagstaffe said.
He is scheduled to be back in San Mateo County Superior Court for a preliminary hearing on Jan. 27.
Copyright © 2014 by Bay City News, Inc. -- Republication, Rebroadcast or any other Reuse without the express written consent of Bay City News, Inc. is prohibited.