Crest Man’s guilty plea in puppy death
El CAJON— A Crest man pleaded guilty Aug. 16 to animal cruelty that involved the beating of his puppy that was so severe the dog had to be euthanized.
Phillip Shawn Rich, 26, will be sentenced Sept. 21 by El Cajon Superior Court Judge William McGrath. Rich could receive three years in prison, probation, or be housed in a special program for veterans, said Deputy District Attorney Ryan Karkenny.
The prosecutor said Rich is a veteran and is eligible for placement in a veterans’ program where he could be closely monitored. There is no agreement about the sentence, he said, and the charge is a felony.
Rich was arrested Jan. 22, a day after he brought his 4-month-old Siberian husky, named Knight, to a veterinary hospital. Rich’s description of how Knight was injured was inconsistent with the dog’s injuries, according to the prosecutor.
The DA’s office said veterinarians determined euthanasia was the only humane option for the dog based on his condition.
Rich has been in jail until June when he posted $25,000 bond. He could be sentenced to time already served. An unrelated telephone harassment charge was dropped.