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Man's alleged cruelty to dog incenses PETA

  • July 1, 2011 - 9:01 PM

Animal rights advocates were monitoring an Apple Valley case Friday, only to learn that an alleged dog abuser never showed for his arraignment.

Michael R. Fessler, 26, is charged with mistreatment of an animal for allegedly hurling a small dog through the air, breaking its pelvis, in April.

Apple Valley police had been called to the East Valley Animal Clinic about a dog with a broken right pelvis and injured left pelvis after Fessler's spouse took the dog to the vet.

Fessler told police that after the dog repeatedly defecated in their house on Eagles Nest Way, he picked up the animal and threw it about 10 feet. When the dog landed, Fessler told police, its leg hit a bottom stair and it began to "scream in pain," according to a complaint filed in Apple Valley District Court.

A veterinarian likened the injury to a car hitting a pet and said it would take a "significant" amount of time for the dog to heal, court papers say.

Fessler was to be arraigned Friday but failed to show for court in Apple Valley, so a new court date will be set, said Michael Molenda, a prosecutor for the city.

Meanwhile, the national group People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) is pressing Molenda to push for a stiff sentence for the misdemeanor, punishable by up to three months in jail and a fine ranging from $210 to $700.

"The viciousness shown in abusing this dog must not go unpunished," PETA Director Martin Mersereau said.

PETA is asking that if convicted, Fessler be jailed, be banned from owning or harboring animals, and undergo a psychological evaluation and counseling.

JOY POWELL

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