A San Francisco man has been charged with felony animal cruelty after he allegedly starved a friend's dog to death, according to the District Attorney's Office.
Kun Sun, 26, was reportedly responsible for the care of a friend's Bichon Frise beginning in summer 2013 after the friend moved to China, District Attorney's Office spokesman Max Szabo said in a statement Thursday.
On Dec. 23, 2013, the deceased dog's body was discovered in Pacifica inside a shoe box with a small plush toy and a folded towel. The Peninsula Humane Society & SPCA was notified and, after scanning the dog's implanted microchip, linked the dog to an owner living in San Francisco. The dog was identified as Penny.
Upon contacting the owner, SPCA officials learned that she had moved to China and had left the dog with Sun.
The dog appeared severely underweight, according to SPCA investigators, so they requested a necropsy to determine the cause of death.
The necropsy was performed in January 2014 and determined the cause of death as starvation. The necropsy also revealed that Penny hadn't been fed for at least two weeks before dying and that the dog's stomach was completely empty.
A sample of bone marrow was sent to a lab to measure its fat content. Normal fat content is 59.4 percent or higher, Szabo said, and Penny's bone marrow fat content was just 1.2 percent.
“We cannot begin to imagine the suffering this dog experienced,” SPCA President Ken White said.
District Attorney George Gascon said the complete disregard for the pet's health was criminal.
Sun was arraigned on the charge Jan. 29 and pleaded not guilty, Szabo said. He was released on his own recognizance, but is required to report to supervised pretrial release twice a week.
The court also ordered that he not own, possess or have any animals in his control.