“I am overjoyed the youth that did this has been found, lets just hope he gets what he deserves!  However, this kid will be on the streets again soon; will this sick assault on an innocent animal be his last? Perhaps, perhaps not, so that’s why we need Animal Abuse Registry’s. The authorities need to keep an eye on young ones especially, as many often turn to more heinous crimes as adults!”

LUCERNE VALLEY • As many around her cheered, Valentine, a 10-month-old pit bull found badly abused last month in Lucerne Valley, was too busy playing and healing to even notice that the person officials believe inflicted serious injuries on the small pup had been caught and was finally behind bars. 

“I’m just so thrilled to hear that,” said Briget Meaden, Valentine’s main caregiver at Bear Valley Animal Hospital, when she heard a 17-year-old Lucerne Valley teen had been arrested last week and charged with animal cruelty and arson by the District Attorney’s office. “She’s just such a happy puppy and so full of deep love even though she’s been through so much.”

The teen’s identity has not been released, though San Bernardino County Sheriff’s officials did state the 17-year-old is being held at the High Desert Juvenile Assessment and Detention Center.

Valentine was found by Omya California Plant workers on Feb. 9 clinging to life after someone had reportedly beaten and abused the small pup, according to sheriff’s officials. Employees immediately called Sounds of Silent Spirits Rescue and Sanctuary president Regine Fonville for help. Fonville transported the puppy to Bear Valley Animal Hospital, where she’s been cared for since.

“We know that this arrest was really successful because of the outpouring of support immediately by our community and by others throughout Southern California,” said Melissa Bacall, adoption and outreach coordinator with Sounds of Silent Spirits. “We hope the community’s outrage will lead to much stiffer penalties for animal abuse.”

Due to the nature of her injuries — which included a partially severed right front paw, broken left front paw, burns to her face and front legs and a skull fracture — veterinarians did have to amputate Valentine’s right leg. She is currently awaiting a prosthetic, according to Meaden, quickly adding that the surgery hasn’t slowed the young puppy down.

“Sometimes we have to be careful because she just wants to play so much and she still has a splint on,” Meaden laughed. “She’s just such a great puppy and I’m so glad she will be going to a great and loving home.”

Animal hospital staff hope to release Valentine into the care of Sounds of Silent Spirits until the puppy can receive her second prothesis. Valentine will then be put up for adoption, Bacall said.

“We’ve had so many people looking to adopt her, I know she will be going to a loving home,” Bacall stated.

Authorities are not searching for any other suspects in this case, according to Cindy Bachman, spokeswoman for the sheriff’s department, but anyone with further information is asked to contact Detective Michelle Brand at (760) 552-6800. 

Read earlier story:- Puppy receives outpouring of support after suffering abuse

DAVID PARDO, DAILY PRESS

INJURED PUP: A 10-month-old puppy, known as Valentine, was found in Lucerne Valley with its muzzle tightly wrapped with electrical tape, trauma to its face and skull, a broken paw, sand and small rocks found in its stomach, and a nearly severed right leg, which will undergo amputation soon. San Bernardino County Sheriff’s officials are looking for those responsible for the dog’s injuries.
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