ST. LOUIS (AP/KMOV.com) — A suburban St. Louis man is charged with felony animal abuse for allegedly beating a puppy into a coma with a hockey stick.
The dog's owner Jennifer Logan said she wasn't home at the time the dog named Hazel was injured. She asked to focus on the dog's recovery and not to talk about how it happened.
"I immediately broke down. I was on the phone as the act was actually happening," said Logan.
Logan said the dog was taken to St. Louis Animal Emergency Clinic. Logan said she was asked to pay a bill that she couldn't afford and took the dog home.
"I was shocked because it was an emergency situation and I view Hazel like my daughter, so that’s like taking your daughter home to die because you don’t have money to pay the bill," said Logan.
Logan turned to an animal Facebook group for help, asking for advice such as how to feed her. Logan said Sunday the dog started to stand and eat from a syringe. Logan said now Hazel is being treated at Ferguson Animal Hospital.
Logan said people can make donations for Hazel's care directly to the Ferguson Animal Hospital. She added her dog is fighting to stay alive and she wants to fight for her as well.
Thirty-three-year-old Cartez Spriggs of Riverview was charged with felony animal abuse Friday. He does not yet have a listed attorney. Logan said the man is her ex.
Charging documents say police were called to Spriggs' home for a report of a man beating a dog. Officers found a hockey stick in the front yard and blood stains, then found a puppy lying in a pool of blood.
Court documents state that Spriggs confessed to raising the dog above his head and letting it drop to the ground before he hit it multiple times with a hockey stick.
Police said Spriggs told investigators he was blacked out with rage and couldn't remember how many times he struck the 4-month-old puppy. He also reportedly told police he blamed “stress” for the incident, and that he was an angry person and had been considering harming someone or something for some time.
Spriggs' criminal history in Missouri includes assault, drug possession and distribution.
Animal advocate Stephanie Williams:
The animal rescue community is extremely concerned for this young puppy, and we all want to make sure Hazel has the long term care she will need. Without this long term care, hazel will likely die. Jennifer is refusing to surrender hazel to any licensed rescues so this necessary care can be provided on a long term basis. Who will provide the necessary medical care for hazel over the next several months to years? Jennifer cannot expect or become accustomed to complete strangers continuing to financially support a very sick dog and its lifesaving treatment, especially when multiple licensed 501c3 rescues are offering to take custody of Hazel. We are also concerned the perpetrator will end up back in the home, as they share the same address and are engaged. The perpetrator has also requested that Jennifer relinquish Hazel to those who can properly care for her, as this is actually his dog. Also, without being able to receive the medical paperwork, because Hazel is an owned dog, we do not know if Hazel is actually getting the necessary medical treatment. Hazel was beaten in the head multiple times with a hockey stick, and slammed to the ground causing her to become comatose. Typically with severe trauma cases like this, the animal should be at VSS. An emergency hospital that can provide extensive, ongoing, 24 hour, specialized care.
UPDATE: July 30 at 9:30 p.m.:
Hazel has been cleared by the vet for normal activities and is scheduled to see an eye specialist.