- Wyoming, USA -
UPDATE on 37-year-old ROY CASTRUN BURNETT JR. (pictured below).
News Break reports that BURNETT JR. appeared for the first time in Laramie County District Court on Monday. December 14.
Authorities say BURNETT JR. “knowingly and continuously failed to provide adequate food and water for his dogs.”
He pleaded not guilty to two felony counts of aggravated cruelty to animals-undue suffering.
On October 10, 2020, Cheyenne Animal Control (CAC) officers were dispatched to a home in the 316 Central Avenue area where they found two dogs in extreme malnutrition with no food or water.
Officers said the furbabies, Karma and Kru, were only hours away from death.
Both babies were removed and placed in the care of the in-house medical team at the Cheyenne Animal Shelter and doctors were able to stabilize them.
Veterinarians said that each dog weighed at least 20 pounds under their ideal weight based on their size and breed.
Records from the Cheyenne Animal Shelter show that both dogs had a history of being picked up for “being at large” violations multiple times over the past year.
Officers interviewed neighbors who said that BURNETT JR. was living there, but they had not seen him in three or four weeks.
All attempts by animal control and police to reach BURNETT JR. on his cell phone were unsuccessful.
As we have seen in previous cases, when this happens, law enforcement determined that “exigent circumstances existed to gain entry” into the property where the dogs were.
At the time, Oil City News reported that the Cheyenne Fire Department was called in and used a mechanical apparatus to expand the door frames so that police could get into the residence.
Authorities eventually made contact with BURNETT JR. on October 16, at his ex-wife’s residence.
Animal Control asked BURNETT JR. who was taking care of his dogs, and BURNETT said someone by the name of “India.”
However, when investigators asked BURNETT JR. where they could find India to ask why he did not feed Karma and Kru, BURNETT JR. was unable to provide authorities with India’s last name or his phone number.
Then, animal control officers asked BURNETT JR. how he paid India to look after the dogs.
BURNETT JR. said he wrote a check but court documents state that BURNETT JR. could not give any information to substantiate that claim.
When BURNETT JR. was questioned about the dogs, he said: “I think somebody tried to poison my dogs. I saw them two weeks ago and they did not look like that.”
BURNETT JR. lied about that too, in fact, the medical examiner stated in the affidavit that “The fact that these dogs are responding so well to treating the initial dehydration, providing food, and basic veterinary care strongly indicates that toxins are an unlikely contributor to these dog’s poor body conditions.”
On October 21, an animal control officer met with BURNETT's ex-wife at her workplace.
She told the officer the last time she had seen Karma and Kru was on September 23, at the mobile home "through a break in one of the windows."
She claimed she petted the dogs but did not see their bodies and the condition they were in.
According to the woman, BURNETT JR. had taken a bag of dog food from her, but she did not remember him taking it to Karma and Kru.
The officer then asked the ex-wife if she knew someone named India.
She responded that in April, she gave India $150 in cash to take care of the dogs.
After that, she had never seen India again.
She gave the officer a description of him, and an address, Stage Coach Motel, 1515 W. Lincolnway.
So, the officer went to the motel to track India down.
The manager and several residents denied they’d ever seen someone that matched his description.
Investigators concluded that “Based upon the foregoing fact, there is probable cause to believe that the defendant, Roy Burnett, knowingly and with intent continuously failed to provide adequate food and water to his dogs.”
Laramie County Circuit Court records say ROY BURNETT JR. was arrested on Monday, November 9, on two counts of aggravated cruelty to animals.
Both furbabies, who belong to a French Mastiff breed known as Dogue de Bordeaux, are still in the care of Cheyenne Animal Shelter.
The shelter’s CEO, Sue Castaneda, said on Monday that they are physically in stable condition.
She added that the male dog, Kru, mentally and socially is doing better than Karma, the female dog.
After the arrest in connection with Karma and Kru, the Laramie County Sheriff’s Department arrested BURNETT JR. again on November 19, for failure to comply with bond conditions, which barred him from having any contact with animals.
In fact, court documents state that a Laramie County Animal Control officer received a call on November 14, that three puppies had been left outside in the cold at BURNETT’s ex-wife’s residence.
When the officer responded to investigate, he saw the poor puppies outside and talked to BURNETT JR. telling him that the puppies could not be left out in the cold.
Judge Thomas Campbell set BURNETT’s trial for April 12, 2021.