Thurston County man charged with causing Yorkshire Terrier's death

Staff writerMarch 11, 2014 

A Thurston County man is accused of first-degree animal cruelty after he allegedly threw his Yorkshire Terrier "Harley" outside, breaking the dog's back and resulting in his death, court papers state.

The man said he threw the dog outside the door of his home in October because he had urinated indoors, according to court papers. An Olympia veterinarian euthanized Harley due to his fractured spine, court papers state.

Wayne Burford, 42, is charged with first-degree animal cruelty, and his arraignment is scheduled for Tuesday, March 18, in Thurston County Superior Court.

According to court papers:

Thurston County Animal Services began its investigation Oct. 5, after a veterinarian at Olympia Pet Emergency contacted the office about a woman who brought her Yorkshire terrier to the office for treatment.

The veterinarian said Burford's wife brought the terrier there after her husband "admitted to picking up and physically throwing Harley outside after Harley had urinated in the house."

The veterinarian examined Harley, and found he was in shock and unable to walk. The dog had a broken back that resulted in paralysis. Burford's wife elected euthanasia due to Harley's poor prognosis.

The veterinarian also reported that she interviewed Burford, and he said "he was mad and he threw" Harley. Burford said he had told his wife several times that she "needed to make Harley stop urinating and defecating in the house, and she had failed to do so."

The veterinarian reported to animal services that Burford "seemed extremely indifferent when he was talking about the situation."

When an animal services officer later interviewed Burford, he said that "the dog peed in the house again and I was so mad I picked him up and threw him outside. I didn't think I threw him that hard, but I guess I broke his back."

Burford also said, "I didn't mean to hurt him. I mean, I loved that dog."



Jeremy Pawloski: 360-754-5445;

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