CHEYENNE, Wyo. – A 37-year-old Cheyenne man is facing two felony charges of Animal Cruelty after law enforcement alleges that he “knowingly and continuously failed to provide adequate food and water for his dogs.
According to paperwork filed in Laramie County Circuit Court, Roy Burnett Jr. was read two counts of Aggravated Cruelty to Animals on Monday, November 9th, 2020.
On October 10th, 2020, Cheyenne Animal Control (CAC) officers were dispatched to a home in 316 Central Avenue area where they discovered two dogs that had been left to fend for themselves with no food or water.
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Authorities say that they spoke to neighbors of the residence who said that Burnett was the occupant of the home, but had not seem him there in three or four weeks.
Court papers report that animal control and police officials attempted to contact Burnett on his cell phones several times but were unsuccesful.
Law enforcement determined “that exigent circumstances existed to gain entry into the home where the dogs were kept, according to an affidavit filed in the case. The Cheyenne Fire Department aided police in gaining entry to Burnett’s residence by expanding the door frames with a mechanical apparatus which caused the door to open.
According to CAC officials, both dogs had severely emaciated bodies and were only hours away from death.
Data from the Cheyenne Animal Shelter shows that both dogs had a repeat history of being picked up for “being at large” violations multiple times over the past year, the affidavit of probable cause went on to say.
Both dogs were given immediate medical care by Animal Shelter personnel for dehydration and starvation and are considered to be in “stable condition” according to their latest update.
The affidavit reports that each dog weighed at least 20 pounds under their ideal weight based on their size and breed, veterinary officials stated in the affidavit.
Court papers report that authorities were able to make contact with Burnett at a different residence on October 16th, 2020 to speak to him about his dogs.
“I think somebody tried to poison my dogs. I saw them two weeks ago and they did not look like that,” Burnett said to investigators, according to the affidavit.
When Burnett was asked by a CAC officer who was taking care of his dogs, he said that it someone by the name of “India. ”
“I asked him the location of India as I wanted to know why India did not feed the dogs. Burnett showed a grimace on his face as if in deep thought and said ‘I don’t know,’ the affidavit stated.
Burnett was unable to provide authorities with the last name of India or their phone number.
In a later interview with CAC officials, Burnett was asked how he paid India to watch his dogs. Burnett told authorities that he wrote a check, however, could not give any information to substantiate that claim, court documents report.
Burnett again, stated that he believed that someone might have tried to poison his dogs. Burnett’s assertion, however, is in contrast to what the medical examiner was quoted as saying in the affidavit filed in the case.
“The fact that these dogs are responding so well to treating the intiail dehydration, providing food, and basic veterinary care strongly indicates that toxins are an unlikely contributor to these dog’s poor body conditions,” the medical examiner stated in the affidavit.
“Based upon the foregoing fact, there is probable cause to believe that the defendant, Roy Burnett, knowingly and with intent continuously failed to provide adequate food and water to his dogs,” investigators added.
If convicted on both counts of Aggravated Animal Cruelty, Burnett could face up to 4 years in prison and/or a find of up to 10k.
All of those cited or arrested are presumed innocent until convicted in a court of law. Charges are subject to change following official filings from the Laramie County District Attorney’s Office. Information is provided by the Laramie County Sheriff’s Office.