Dog beaten, possibly in revenge for arrest |

Dog beaten, possibly in revenge for arrest

by F.T. Norton
Appeal Staff Writer

A tiny Yorkshire terrier was clinging to life Wednesday after a suspected intruder beat the family pet nearly to death.

Owner Denise La Clare and her 4-year-old daughter found Sammy, a 2.5-pound miniature Yorkie, motionless on the floor of the laundry room in her Emerson Drive home Wednesday morning after returning from a friend’s home.

The 10-year-old dog was found locked in the room between the garage and house. La Clare’s sliding glass door was wide open.

“When I walked through the garage door into the washroom, immediately I saw Sammy on the floor. I thought he was dead,” La Clare said. “I knew (Tuesday) night when I left he was up on my bed tucked in.”

Panicked, La Clare called several times for her 220-pound Rottweiler and two pit bulls before the trio skulked out from under her bed.

“I don’t know how long the intruder was there, but it scared my other dogs,” she said.

It was then that La Clare’s daughter noticed Sammy was moving.

La Clare scooped up the pup and rushed him to Lone Mountain Veterinary Hospital.

“They don’t expect him to live,” she said. “He has massive contusions and is currently sedated with an IV and under observation to see if he’ll make it through the night.”

At the end of June, La Clare had a run-in with the brother of a friend who bought a motor home from her.

According to the arrest report, La Clare had agreed to keep the motor home on her property until the man could move it. Then he began to store items in it, and appeared to be living in it. The report states she asked the man several times to leave.

On June 28, when she confronted him again, the man allegedly attempted to strike La Clare then drove his car at her.

The 52-year-old man was arrested June 29 on suspicion of felony assault with a deadly weapon and battery. Following a court hearing Monday, the man was released from custody Tuesday morning.

Tuesday afternoon about 4:30 p.m., La Clare said, she noticed the man watching her while she was at a gas station near her home. And, on Wednesday morning, she passed his truck on her street as she headed back to her house.

Carson City Sheriff’s Deputy Tara Collier said the suspect denied any involvement in the attack on the dog, and at this point the case is at a standstill.

Collier also noted the veterinarian said the dog’s injuries were so extensive it looked as if it had been struck by a car.

But La Clare said it was impossible for Sammy to have gotten out of the house. And even more impossible, “There’s no way Sammy could have gotten back in the house in between two closed doors in the washroom,” she said.

• Contact reporter F.T. Norton at or 881-1213.