Pinellas Park police today arrested a 44-year-old St. Petersburg man and charged him with felony cruelty to animals in a case that cost a 5-month-old puppy his front left leg.
An arrest affidavit says that from May through June, Todd Walker inflicted multiple injuries on a dog named Beau.
The arrest report states Walker was observed drop-kicking the dog approximately 5 to 6 feet across the living room to where the dog hit the arm of a lounge chair.
On a second occasion, Walker was observed throwing the dog on to a couch and hitting the dog in the face, then punching the dog in the area of its hind legs with his fist, the report said.
Pinellas Park police Det. Mike Lynch also wrote that on at least two occasions Walker was seen throwing water bottles at the dog.
Beau suffered two broken bones to the left lower leg, along with a broken upper bone to the same leg, and a skull fracture.
Lynch added, "As a result of the injuries the dog's left leg had to be amputated and the dog was observed to be in a state of fear when the defendant was present with the dog."
Last week, SPCA Tampa Bay offered a $500 reward for information leading to the arrest and conviction of the person responsible for abusing Beau.
The agency began its investigation in June when Kat Burke of Pinellas Park, the owner's aunt, called the SPCA abuse hotline.
"It certainly looks like abuse from our perspective; it's almost impossible for an animal to get that many injuries any other way," SPCA Tampa Bay CEO Martha Boden said.
Burke claimed the dog suffered a broken left front leg in May. A month later on June 19, she says she got a panicked call from her niece, Rebecca Walker, telling her that "Beau's leg was broke again, it was the same leg and she was on her way home."
Burke rushed the dog to Haynes Road Animal Hospital, where they started treatment immediately.
In addition to the broken leg, Burke said Beau also suffered two skull fractures, a broken jaw bone and broken ribs.
"He was in shock," Burke said.
According to Burke, Beau's broken leg was badly infected and he suffered nerve damage. Doctors decided to amputate.
A week later, Rebecca Walker wrote in a request for an injunction for protection against domestic violence that her husband "Todd was watching my dog, Beau. Todd called me and said my dog was hurt."
Todd Walker is a convicted felon. He has done time in the Florida state prison system for felony battery and incest with a relative.
Now he faces another felony charge, cruelty to animals.
As for Beau, Burke said he continues to heal from his injuries. She has taken the dog in and hopes one day to work with and help inspire young children who have also lost limbs.