A trial date has been set for the Florida man accused of beating his five-month-old Goldendoodle, ‘Buzz Lightyear,’ to death.
Robert ‘Bobby William Garon, 23, will go before a jury on July 17 as he faces charges relating to ‘one of the worst cases of animal abuse’ one local law enforcement agency said they have ever seen.
In July, Garon brought the pup to the Emergency Pet Hospital of Collier County disoriented and unable to walk or pick up his head.
Garon, who was unable to provide an explanation for the dog’s injuries when he took Lightyear to the emergency veterinarian, claims he is innocent and has faced major backlash, including the loss of his job, due to the scandal.
Robert William Garon, 23, pleaded not guilty to cruelty to animals causing cruel death, pain or suffering
Five-month-old Goldendoodle Buzz Lightyear was unable to breathe, walk, or pick up his head
Garon, who pleaded not guilty on November 14, was arrested in August and is charged with cruelty to animals causing cruel death, pain or suffering.
A necropsy was performed on the animal by the Collier County Humane Society and showed severe damage to the Lightyear’s body prior to his death.
Garon and his girlfriend brought Lightyear into the Emergency Pet Hospital in the Florida county on July 29 for severe injuries stemming from an undisclosed incident.
In addition to the puppy being disoriented and unable to walk upon arrival at the hospital, Lightyear was wet and unable to breathe normally
The animal received treatment from medical staff but later died from his injuries.
‘This is one of the worst cases of animal abuse we’ve seen,’ said Sheriff Kevin Rambosk in August. ‘No animal should ever have to suffer such a death.’
Veterinarian Dr. John Morton performed a necropsy on the puppy at Humane Society Naples which revealed the extent of the puppy’s injuries.
A vet examination revealed possible head trauma, bruising to the right ear and mouth, and muscle damage throughout the body, the Collier County Sheriff said.
‘This dog’s death was caused by non-accidental, blunt force trauma to the head and body with secondary internal hemorrhage. I believe he suffered significantly from his injuries before death,’ the necropsy report read.
Garon and his girlfriend have both lost their jobs due to the scandal, the man’s mother says
Both Garon and his girlfriend have reportedly lost their jobs after the animal’s death.
Suzanne Garon, the man’s mother, also told local media their families have received threats of violence as a result of the incident.
Michelle Batten, spokesperson for the Collier County Sheriff’s Office, told the Naples News, they have investigated threats.
‘People are saying absolutely horrible things and not just about our son, but to extended family members, our immediate family and to extended family members who live in other parts of the country,’ Suzanne said.
Law enforcement officials said an investigation uncovered Garon had inflicted the injuries that led to Lightyear’s death.
Garon will stand trial in July and has pleaded not guilty to the charges
In addition to being unable to provide the medical professionals with an explanation, a witness told law enforcement they heard Garon beating the animal on the night of July 29.
Hospital staff contacted the Department of Animal Services due to the suspected case of abuse.
The Collier County Sheriff’s Office was later contacted by the Department of Animal Services.
CCSO officially began a death investigation on August 2 after being contacted by Collier County Domestic Animal Services about a suspected case of abuse involving the puppy.
Suzanne claims Garon went out that night and had no idea what happened while Lightyear was at home with his roommates.
‘He left and when he came home a couple of hours later, his roommate and his roommate’s buddy, the two that actually gave their statements to the police, along with two additional people, were in the apartment,’ Suzanne said told local media.
The man’s mother claims the dog was completely fine when he left and was in severe distress when he and his girlfriend arrived back at their home.
‘They had no idea what happened as I said,’ Suzanne Garon said. ‘Bobby was not home.’