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Animal Cruelty Charges Filed in Dogs' Beating Deaths

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May 9, 2011

San Diego County District Attorney Bonnie M. Dumanis said today multiple felony animal abuse charges have been filed against 25-year-old Patrick Caleb Land in San Diego County Superior Court in connection with the beating death of his girlfriend’s three dogs. Land is accused of beating one dog to death in September and two more dogs in October.

“This is a particularly brutal and disturbing case of animal cruelty,” DA Dumanis said. “Our office’s prosecution of animal cruelty cases like this one should send a strong message that we will not tolerate animal abuse in our community.”

Land was arraigned today on three counts of felony animal cruelty. He faces up to four years and four months in prison if convicted of all the charges. Land pleaded not guilty to the charges and is being held on $250,000 bail. The defendant was arrested in North Carolina and extradited to San Diego to face charges.

L-R: Pikanik, Josh, and Jackie.

The three dogs were various breeds including, Jackie, a nine-year old white Shepard mix; Pikanik, a four-year old black and tan mixed breed; and Josh, a Great Pyrenees and Golden Retriever mix. The dogs were beaten to death by the defendant during two separate incidents. Both times he called his girlfriend at work and told her he found the dogs dead in a bedroom. San Diego County Animal Services investigated the deaths after the owner became suspicious.

“Our investigators did an outstanding job in this difficult case,” said Animal Services Director Dawn Danielson. “DNA found underneath one of the dog’s nails gave us evidence that the defendant committed these crimes.”

The veterinarian who performed necropsies on the dogs determined that two of the dogs died from severe trauma and “appear to have been brutally beaten while being restrained with something over their heads to keep them quiet and unable to bite defensively.” The younger dog suffered more severe injuries, suggesting he struggled more and was harder to silence.

Animal Control Officers with County Animal Services investigate about 3,800 animal abuse or neglect cases a year. While most are resolved by educating the owners, other cases are submitted to the District Attorney for potential prosecution.