Kent man charged with starving puppy to death

King County prosecutors have charged a 20-year-old Kent man with first-degree animal cruelty for allegedly starving a puppy to death in his abandoned apartment.

King County prosecutors have charged a 20-year-old Kent man with first-degree animal cruelty for allegedly starving a puppy to death in his abandoned apartment.

Andre O. Johnson is scheduled to be arraigned Oct. 12 at the Norm Maleng Regional Justice Center in Kent, according to an e-mail from Dan Donohoe, spokesman for the King County Prosecuting Attorney’s Office.

Prosecutors charged Johnson Sept. 29 based on a probable cause document filed Sept. 9 by Sgt. David Morris, an animal-control officer with Regional Animal Services of King County. A summons has been issued for Johnson to appear in court. He has not served any time in jail because of the alleged incident.

Johnson reportedly failed to provide adequate food and water to Bones, a pit bull puppy, between Nov. 12, 2009 and Dec. 10, 2009, according to charging papers.

Managers of the Waterford on the Lakes Apartments in Kent reported to animal control Dec. 10 that they discovered a dead pit-bull puppy in the bedroom closet of a unit during an abandoned property inspection.

Morris said he arrived to find the puppy with its ribs, spine and hip bones readily seen. A veterinarian performed a necropsy that concluded the puppy died of starvation and dehydration.

Johnson told Morris in a phone interview that a former roommate had bought the puppy.

Johnson assumed ownership when the roommate abandoned the brindle-and-white pit bull in September 2009. Johnson said he played with the dog and bought it food.

Johnson moved into the Waterford apartments in September 2009. During a maintenance inspection on Nov. 15, apartment personnel found the puppy in a feces and urine littered bathroom and notified Johnson in writing to clean up after his pet.

Johnson said he last saw the dog Dec. 5 and thought “the dog was getting skinny.”

He determined the dog had worms through Internet research, but did not take the puppy to a veterinarian.

Maintenance personnel changed the locks on the apartment Dec. 10 because Johnson had abandoned the unit.

The puppy was found dead in the closet, severely emaciated and lying next to a bowl of dried dog kibble. There was no water to be found anywhere in the apartment, according to Morris’ report.

As owner of the puppy, Johnson was clearly criminally negligent when he did not provide adequate food or water to the dog, Morris wrote in court documents.

Morris also wrote that Johnson did not return further requests to contact him.

“Johnson, as the owner of Bones, was clearly criminally negligent when he did not provide adequate food and water, and as a result the dog suffered substantial and unjustifiable physical pain and died of starvation and dehydration,” Morris stated in the report.

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