A Colorado Springs man is suspected of aggravated cruelty to animals after a dog was found with broken bones and eye injuries, the Humane Society of the Pikes Peak Region said in a news release.
Christian Lance Balkham, 22, received a felony summons for animal cruelty and was later arrested by Colorado Springs Police Department on unrelated charges, the release said. Balkham, an acquaintance of the dog's owner, was suspected of abuse after Animal Law Enforcement spoke with multiple witnesses, collected evidence, and inspected the dog.
The dog's owner is suspected of misdemeanor cruelty to animals for allegedly housing the terrier in an unsafe environment and not getting him timely and appropriate veterinary care, the release said.
Animal Law enforcement took custody of the terrier, Cooper, who is now being cared for by a foster volunteer, authorities said.
The humane society's veterinary team treated Cooper's wounds and injuries, which included old and new ribs fractures, suggesting continued abuse over time, abrasions on his paws, indicating he was dragged, as well as a tail injury that the veterinary team said is improving. Cooper also had severe trauma to both his eyes, which blinded him. An eye specialist will examine Cooper to see if he could be a candidate to have restorative eye surgery in one eye within the next few weeks.
“Sadly, our evidence leads us to believe that Cooper was intentionally harmed, repeatedly over a period of time, by the individual charged,” Jamie Norris, director of Animal Law Enforcement said. “This has been a very emotional case for our officers, and we are glad Cooper is safe and receiving the care he needs.”
To donate toward Cooper’s eye surgery and medical care, visit www.hsppr.org/cooper. Cooper is not available for adoption at this time because he's involved in a felony investigation, authorities said.