Burlingame dog boarder investigated for alleged animal abuse

BURLINGAME, Calif. (KGO) -- A cellphone video has gotten a Peninsula woman in trouble with the Humane Society. She is a dog boarder who could wind up in jail as investigators pursue a criminal case against her.

The Peninsula Humane Society will likely give this case to the district attorney of San Mateo County on Monday.

We are not naming the dog boarder under investigation because the Humane Society has not identified her publicly. Through the city, we learned she ran her business out of her home illegally, without the proper permits.

Warning this video is graphic.

In the video, you can see what apparently shows a woman grabbing a little dog by the neck and then throwing it to the ground. Then she appears to be punching the animal before taking the dog inside her home.

"The video is sickening. There's absolutely no reason why anyone would treat an animal like that," Scott Delucchi from the Peninsula Humane Society said.

No one answered when we knocked on the door of her Burlingame home; a home where she's reportedly been running a dog sitting and boarding business for the past decade.

"She runs a very nice business. She's had a very successful business," said Claire Rovegno, who lives next door. We showed her the video and it shocked her. "I don't know what caused her to do such a thing. As I say, I've never seen her do anything like that before. It's just disappointing to me."

The woman's attorney told us by phone that his client saves rescue dogs and would never hurt an animal. Attorney Robert Courshon says she was simply trying to stop the dog in the video from barking for the sake of neighbors.

"When the dog barked, she picked up the dog and set it down in its bed and told it, 'No. No. Stop barking,' and pushed it down into its bed."

The Humane Society says it's received multiple complaints from neighbors charging that the woman has been mistreating dogs. They've checked every complaint but never could find anything wrong at the home. People have even sent other videos including one where she appears to be stomping a dog.

"As she's stomping, a large breed dog runs away from the area where she had been stomping," Delucchi said.

It wasn't enough evidence to prosecute but now with this latest video, they seized eight dogs in her care and put her own three dogs in protective custody.
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