A decision is expected soon on whether the owner of a dog found with Duct tape on its mouth and face in rural Paso Robles will face charges.
San Luis Obispo County Animal Services Manager Dr. Eric Anderson tells KSBY News he has been in touch with the San Luis Obispo County District Attorney's Office and expects to send the completed report over for review within the next day if it's determined charges are appropriate in the case.
The 7-month-old black Labrador Retriever was found by a resident on Loma Lane Monday night.
She said the dog's snout was taped closed and there was tape above its eyes, around its ears and a dead bird was attached.
Animal services has been in touch with the dog's owner, who reportedly said the tape was used as a way to discipline the dog and help with training after it had attacked some chickens.
Anderson says that while the act appears to have been intended as discipline and not a way to harm the dog, that doesn't mean it's a behavior deemed as acceptable or appropriate by animal services.
"It's certainly possible that disciplinary actions can also be abusive," Anderson told KBSY News.
As for the dog's future, Anderson says that has yet to be decided.
"We have seized the dog as part of the animal welfare investigation and so whenever we do that, the disposition of the dog remains sort of open for at least a couple of weeks. There's an administrative process and some evaluation we have to go through before we can determine whether or not the dog can be returned to the owner, or whether or not we can seize it and keep it and place it into a new home," Anderson said.
He added that if the lab had not been found, the Duct tape around its mouth could have caused it to overheat or be attacked by another animal.
If animal services does request charges be filed in the case, the final filing decision will be up to the DA's office.