FORT COLLINS, Colo. - Investigators from the Larimer Humane Society have cited the owner of American Dog School with neglect after a 13-week old puppy was discovered at the school with one eye hanging out of its socket.
The eye had to be surgically removed.
Fort Collins resident Tiffany Brown told 7NEWS that she and her husband, Gregory, took Baron, a German Shepherd puppy, to the school for a two day stay on Friday, September 7.
"We texted her Saturday to see how he was doing, but got no response," Brown said. "We thought, 'no big deal, she's probably busy.'"
Brown said that when they went to pick Baron up on Sunday, "The owner came out holding him saying she had no idea what happened to him."
"He was moaning and crying," Brown said. "His eye was clearly hanging out of his socket. He looked like he was dead."
American Dog School owner Tami Carrasco told 7NEWS late Wednesday she still doesn't know how Baron was injured.
Last September, she theorized that he got out of his kennel and was kicked by a horse.
Carrasco said she no longer believes that was the case, and wonders if Baron had some previous infection.
"There was no blood, but there was pus around his eye," Carrasco said.
When asked why she didn't take him to a vet, Carrasco said, "I was with Baron Friday night and all day Saturday. I picked him up, looked at him and there was no sign of injury."
She said it was the same Sunday morning.
"It was only when I called him when his owners came to pick him up that I saw the injury," Carrasco said.
Brown described Baron's injuries as horrific.
"He suffered five separate skull fractures," she said. "They weren't from being in an accident or from being dropped or kicked."
Brown said a veterinarian at CSU determined the injuries were a day old.
Investigators said that's why they issued a citation to Carrasco.
"The citation was based on a report which said the injury was 12 - 24 hours old when Baron was brought to CSU. That's how we came up with the charge that she neglected to seek care for the animal," said Stephanie Ashley of the Larimer Humane Society, which is under contract to provide animal protection and animal control services to Fort Collins, Loveland and Larimer County.
Carrasco said the charge is unwarranted.
"Anyone who knows me knows I would never hurt an animal," Carrasco said. "I look forward to having my day in court."
Brown countered, "The bottom line is I left him in her care. It was her responsibility to care for him and she didn't. There are consequences for that."
Carrasco's day in court has been scheduled for Dec. 17.