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A man was charged Friday with animal mistreatment after he refused to take his dog in to see a veterinarian after it broke its leg and fed it liquor to help control the pain.

Lawrence Linker, 48, of Racine, was charged by the Racine County District Attorney’s Office with two misdemeanor counts of mistreating animals — intentional or negligent. If convicted of both charges, he faces up to 18 months in prison and/or fined up to $20,000.

According to a criminal complaint, the Racine Police Department found that Linker did not take his dog, who had a broken leg, to the veterinarian.

A witness called the police on Monday after Linker waved him down as he walked past his house. Linker showed the man his pit bull Kyle, who had suffered a broken leg after he fell through Linker’s back porch. Linker gave the dog liquor to control the pain and told the witness he was “thinking about hitting Kyle over the head to make him ‘go to sleep.” Linker told the man he didn’t want to take Kyle to the vet.

When officers with the Racine Police Department confronted Linker, a woman told them that Linker didn’t want to talk to them because he had an active warrant for his arrest. Kyle was moaning on the floor, the woman told the police.

On Thursday, the officer was able to get a special inspection warrant for Linker’s home at 1823 Franklin Street and they found him hiding in the basement. He gave up custody of both of his dogs, Kyle and Bolt. Linker told the officer that he does take care of them and did give Kyle a pain reliever for his foot.

Bolt’s and Kyle’s fur was dirty and he had flea dirt on him. Kyle limped when he walked. He had “a large wound on his front right paw,” the result of a nail going through his paw when he fell through the porch stairs, Linker told them.

The house had feces and urine on the floor.

“Other officers observed that the house was filthy and had flies flying around,” the complaint reads.

Linker is being held on a $100 cash bond.

A preliminary hearing has been set for 3:15 p.m. July 6 in front of Racine County Court Commissioner Alice Rudebusch.


Denise Lockwood has an extensive background in traditional and non-traditional media. She has written for, the Milwaukee Business Journal, Milwaukee Magazine and the Kenosha News.