The tragic tale of Captain the dumpster dog took another sad turn Monday.
Captain, a two-year-old German shepherd, was found severely injured in a dumpster last July after neighbours heard his mournful cries.
Captain died the next day, and now his owner has been criminally charged with animal cruelty.
“It is absolutely heartbreaking to think of the suffering that this dog experienced,” said B.C. SPCA spokeswoman Lorie Chortyk.
“It’s beyond comprehension.”
The SPCA had recommended that charges be laid in the case, and now Crown counsel has now agreed to charge the dog’s owner, 26-year-old Brian Whitlock.
Pictures of Captain touched a chord in many, who vainly hoped for the best after Captain was rescued from a Kitsilano dumpster July 18.
“We investigate more than 7,000 cases of animal cruelty every year, and each story is heartbreaking to us, but I think the image of Captain lying helplessly in that dumpster really touched a nerve with people,” said Chortyk.
“Captain received the very best, around-the-clock medical care.
“We did everything in our power to save him, but his injuries were just too serious and he died of cardiac arrest the following day.”
Chortyk said the SPCA received thousands of emails and phone calls from across North America expressing concern for Captain.
Whitlock is scheduled to appear in court in Vancouver on Dec. 7.
If convicted, he could face up to five years in jail, a $75,000 fine and a lifetime ban on owning or having custody of animals.