Breezy's attacker guilty in dog's near-fatal beating

Posted by Big Rat on Campus on Dec 13, 2013 in Rat Answers | Subscribe

Steven Helfer admits to maiming his pet dog Breezy in a savage attack with a rake and shovel, criminally harassing his mom and brandishing the rake at two women.

But he denies stomping his pet chinchilla and her litter of babies to death and skinning half-a-dozen pet rats.

Helfer, 24, pleaded guilty Friday to animal cruelty, criminal harassment and two counts of assault with a weapon in the Oct. 16 incident that caused an outpouring of outrage in Ottawa.

The court heard that Helfer flew into a rage when his mother showed up to get her things at the Barclay Rd. townhouse they’d shared before becoming estranged.

Helfer said he wanted Breezy – who’d been a Christmas present.

As his mother and a friend barricaded themselves inside, Helfer was seen yanking the dog by a chain as she yelped and cried.

He was seen hitting the dog in the head with the rake three to four times, hitting her “over and over” with a shovel and kicking her with steel-toed boots.

He yelled at two women and waved the rake when they told him to stop beating the dog.

Helfer then threw Breezy in a dumpster.

Police found neighbours gathered around the dumpster, where a young woman had climbed inside to comfort the dog.

Breezy stopped breathing on the way to a vet hospital, was blinded in one eye and suffered gashes and a fractured skull with bone fragments visible.

She has survived, but might need more surgery.

The Crown will attempt to prove the other instances of animal cruelty in a hearing Jan. 20 where Helfer’s mother and sister are expected to testify.

In the meantime, Helfer was ordered to undergo a psychiatric assessment.

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