Accused dog abuser out of jail on own recognizance

A preliminary hearing has been scheduled for accused animal abuser Robert Brunette, the Santa Cruz-area dog breeder wanted for allegedly neglecting dozens of canines on his property.

The 45-year-old man was scheduled to be released Tuesday on his own recognizance with supervision and conditions, according to a public defender.

Brunette pleaded not guilty Monday in Santa Cruz County Superior Court to 10 counts of animal cruelty and neglect. Two of the counts are felonies and the others are misdemeanor animal neglect.

Judge Jeff Almquist released him on his own recognizance after Brunette’s court-appointed attorney, Mark Garver, argued that Brunette has no significant criminal record.

Under the terms of his release, Brunette is not allowed to have any dogs on his property or in his possession.

Brunette is accused of abusing and neglecting more than 40 dogs on his Boulder Creek property.

On July 26, animal-control authorities armed with a search warrant rescued 38 emaciated and abused dogs from Brunette’s property.

During the search they also found a decapitated dog head, five dog skulls and a dead dog on the roof of the home.

Brunette was not found that day, but was arrested Thursday near Los Gatos High School in Los Gatos. A preliminary hearing is scheduled for Oct. 6.

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