Two Los Angeles Police Department officers pleaded not guilty Monday to felony neglect of their aging Labrador retriever, Shamrock, who has since been euthanized.
Jason David Azpeitia, 43, and Sharon Anne Azpeitia, 42, both face one felony count of cruelty to an animal and two misdemeanor counts of failure to license. They entered their pleas in a West Covina courtroom and were ordered to return Nov. 28 for a preliminary hearing to determine whether there is sufficient evidence to proceed to trial.
If convicted as charged, they each face up to three years in jail.
On Jan. 9, the defendants’ neighbor found their dog on the street in the rain. A spokesman for the District Attorney’s Office said the office has a policy of not disclosing the location of law enforcement officers’ homes out of concern for their safety.
Prosecutors allege the canine showed signs of severe neglect, but did not provide details. The circumstances under which the dog was put to sleep or when that occurred were not released, and it was unclear whether the euthanization was related to the alleged neglect that resulted in the filing of charges on Sept. 13.
There is no record of the arrest of either officer in the sheriff’s department online jail records.
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