Dog owner takes plea in leg amputation case |

Dog owner takes plea in leg amputation case

A man who allegedly amputated his dog's leg in a home surgery pleaded guilty to a reduced misdemeanor charge of animal neglect in court Thursday.

Timothy Looper took the plea agreement in exchange for a proposed sentence of no more than 60 days but made a West plea, meaning he was not admitting his guilt.

Looper brought the dog, named Bart, into Mother Lode Veterinary Hospital after a dog twice his size had attacked and nearly killed him. At the veterinary hospital, they discovered the dog's neck muscles were completely torn apart.

Bart had previously been attacked and left with a leg that was so severely injured it needed to be amputated.

Looper allegedly didn't have the funds at the time and decided to amputate the leg himself; the wound became infected, but the vets at Mother Lode were able to treat it.

Looper originally was charged with a felony count of animal cruelty.

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But on Thursday, the charge was amended in Nevada County Superior Court to reduce it to a misdemeanor count of animal neglect by failure to provide adequate veterinary care.

Looper faces as many as 60 days and is eligible for alternative sentencing.

He must forfeit Bart to Sammie's Friends, which runs the animal shelter for Nevada County; the woman who has been fostering Bart said after court that she plans to adopt him.

Looper must also pay almost $750 in restitution to Sammie's Friends for Bart's care.

He is set to be sentenced Feb. 21.

To contact Staff Writer Liz Kellar, email or call (530) 477-4229.

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