Crime

Fresno man sentenced to prison for abusing his dog, Princess

Tyrell Leon Harris, 32, of Fresno, was sentenced Wednesday to 32 months in prison for abusing his dog Princess, which authorities said suffered a fractured skull.
Tyrell Leon Harris, 32, of Fresno, was sentenced Wednesday to 32 months in prison for abusing his dog Princess, which authorities said suffered a fractured skull. Fresno Police Department

A Fresno man who pleaded no contest to abusing his dog, Princess, was sentenced Wednesday in Fresno County Superior Court to 32 months in prison.

As part of his sentence, Tyrell Leon Harris, 32, was ordered to pay $13,023 to the Central California Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals for the dog’s medical bills. He also cannot own, possess, maintain, have custody of, reside with or care for any animal for a period of 10 years.

The case was prosecuted by Sydney Ricks, a deputy district attorney with District Attorney Lisa Smittcamp’s animal cruelty unit formed last summer to tackle animal abuse in Fresno County.

As part of his sentence, Tyrell Leon Harris, 32, was ordered to pay $13,023 to the Central California SPCA for the dog’s medical bills. He also cannot own, possess, maintain, have custody of, reside with or care for any animal for a period of 10 years.

A criminal complaint accused Harris of beating his dog in his central Fresno garage June 26 last year. When a humane investigator arrived at the home, Harris was covered in blood, and the dog, a female pit bull, was badly injured next to a pool of blood, the Central California SPCA said.

The dog was rushed to veterinary emergency services, where it was determined she had a frontal skull fracture. Princess was taken to the CCSPCA small animal hospital for treatment.

On Nov. 30, Harris pleaded no contest to a felony charge of animal cruelty, court records say.

In July, Smittcamp announced the formation of the unit, saying animal cruelty can be a precursor to crimes against people.

According to the United States Humane Society, research shows that between 71 percent and 83 percent of women in domestic violence shelters report that their partners have abused or killed the family pet. In families under supervision for child abuse, 88 percent had also experienced acts of animal abuse.

In seven school shootings between 1997 and 2001, all of the shooters had committed acts of animal cruelty, the research showed.

Pablo Lopez: 559-441-6434, @beecourts

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