San Diego County Animal Control officers arrested a 50-year-old La Jolla resident on Wednesday, February 24, in connection with animal abuse after he brought an injured ten-week-old puppy to an emergency veterinary clinic on Tuesday night. The veterinary staff noticed that the chocolate Labrador retriever could not walk, had difficulty breathing, and several other signs of abuse and notified the Department of Animal Services.
According to a press release from the County of San Diego, David Hale Warner was arrested Wednesday morning after he returned to the veterinary hospital and was questioned by animal control officers. During questioning, he admitted that he had choked the puppy and pinned it down for about 20 seconds to punish the puppy.
Warner was transported to the San Diego Detention Center and has been booked on felony animal cruelty charges. During the booking process, officers discovered that Warner had an existing warrant for spousal abuse. The puppy is still in intensive care at the veterinary hospital and, according to the staff, has a “guarded prognosis” for surviving the attack.