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Animal abuse trial delayed

The woman who took in two dogs maimed by arrows said it is aggravating the accused in the case could not be in court last week. Justin Lefthand was to go on trial Aug. 23 for allegedly shooting two puppies with arrows more than a year ago.
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The woman who took in two dogs maimed by arrows said it is aggravating the accused in the case could not be in court last week.

Justin Lefthand was to go on trial Aug. 23 for allegedly shooting two puppies with arrows more than a year ago. He was charged with four counts of animal abuse. His trial was cancelled days before it was to get underway because he is in a residential addictions treatment program.

A man who feeds dogs on the Eden Valley Reserve found two dogs bleeding in the spring of 2016.

He called Kelly Cerato, founder of the dog rescue group Tails of the Misunderstood. Cerato took the dogs to an emergency veterinarian clinic and found out they were shot with metal four-point arrows. They both underwent surgery and racked up veterinarian bills of $13,000, which were paid for by donors to a GoFundMe account.

One dog, which Cerato named Kitchi, lost a foreleg. The other, Chevayo, had an arrow close to his heart removed and has fully recovered.

Cerato was a witness in the trial and was not happy to hear it was being rescheduled.

The case will be back in Turner Valley court Sept. 19 to set a new trial date.

Cerato said it is frustrating not knowing when the case will be heard.

“It could be three months, five months, a year,” she said. “When will he take accountability for what he did?”

In the meantime, both dogs have been placed in adoptive homes. The veterinarian who treated Chevayo adopted him. Cerato saw him recently and said he is doing well.

“It’s just so amazing how much love can heal a dog,” she said.

Chevayo has come out of his shell, Cerato said.

“He is not shy anymore,” she said. “He will go to anyone.”

Kitchi remained with Cerato until December, when a friend adopted him.

Cerato’s friend brings Kitchi by every couple of weeks for a visit, Cerato said.

“He is so happy-go-lucky,” she said. “He usually pees himself every time, he is so excited.”

Losing his front leg hasn’t slowed Kitchi down.

“We all went on a camping adventure and he’s completely adapted,” Cerato said. “He runs like nobody’s business. He’s just go, go, go, go.”




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