Puppy rescued by deputies, taken to Castaic Animal Shelter. courtesy photo SCV Sheriff Station.

Puppy and accused puppy beater behind bars

A puppy allegedly beaten by its owner waits behind bars, and so does the man accused of beating the dog.

The fate of both is expected to be determined soon, but in the meantime, the dog remains at the Castaic Animal Shelter and the man arrested on suspicion of animal cruelty remains in custody just down the road at the Pitchess Detention Center.

“The dog is not available for adoption at this time,” said Don Barre, spokeswoman for the Los Angeles County Department of Animal Care and Control.

Zachary Matthew Burnette, 25, of Nolensville, Tennessee, about 16 miles south of Nashville, remains in custody with bail set at $35,000.

On April 5, Burnette was arrested on suspicion of animal cruelty, a felony, after witnesses phoned the Santa Clarita Valley Sheriff’s Station to say they saw a man beating a dog in a parking lot.

Court records showed Tuesday that he is now expected to appear on a misdemeanor charge in relation to the same incident at the Santa Clarita Courthouse April 23.

On the day of the arrest, the dog, believed to be about 9 months old, was taken by deputies of the SCV Sheriff’s Station to the Castaic Animal Shelter.

The alleged incident happened mid-afternoon in the parking lot near the Smart & Final Extra store and the Valencia Lanes bowling alley.

“Somebody at a business near Smart & Final on Lyons Avenue saw a person hitting and being rough with a puppy,” Shirley Miller, spokeswoman for the SCV Sheriff’s Station, said last week.

“Deputies arrived and arrested the man on (suspicion of) animal cruelty,” she said, noting April is considered Animal Cruelty Prevention Month. “Allegedly, he was striking the puppy because it had peed in his vehicle.”

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