Lacey neighbors speak up about alleged puppy abuse, may have saved ‘Phantom’s’ life

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LACEY, Wash. – A three-month-old puppy is finally safe now after Thurston County Animal Services says she was brutally abused by her owner. A Lacey man now faces an animal cruelty charge in the first degree.

Animal cruelty investigators say it was neighbors who stepped up and potentially saved the dog’s life.  Police say she’s in a safe foster home right healing from multiple injuries, including broken ribs, a broken jaw, broken femur and other bumps and bruises all throughout her body.

She’s not ferocious, but she is a fighter.  It might be hard to tell, but Phantom is badly battered but not broken.

“What the radiographs tell us is that this animal has received numerous injuries over a period of time,” said Thurston County Animal Cruelty Investigator Erika Johnson.

On Phantom’s X-rays, you can see the damage from numerous injuries covering her three-month-old puppy frame.

“These animals cannot speak for themselves,” said Johnson.

Johnson says the community has to speak up.  She say it was neighbors who alerted police to the abuse after allegedly seeing "the suspect in this case pick up a puppy and throw it down to the ground with force.” And allegedly thrown into a glass door, along with being kept outside with no shelter.

Our cameras were rolling as investigators tried to arrest Phantom’s owner.  No one answered, but hours later police arrested 18-year-old Raymond Brooks for animal cruelty in the first degree.  Johnson says Brooks told her he was mad at the puppy for going to the bathroom in the house.  Court documents show Brooks admitted to throwing Phantom at least once.

“There’s no control, there’s anger issues, and sometimes there’s mental issues.  Every case is different, but here it seems to be anger issues,” said Johnson.

Johnson says it’s the first step at getting justice for Phantom.

“We take it seriously. We investigate, we prosecute,” said Johnson.

So it’s the old mantra.  If you see something, say something, even if the alleged victim is a four-legged neighbor.

“She is healing and it’s going to be a long healing process. She will probably never be pain free or normal because of the extent of the injuries or the severity of the injuries,” said Johnson.

According to vets, Phantom’s injuries are as old as five weeks, some are newer. She’s being treated for her physical and emotional wounds.

As for Phantom’s owner, Raymond Brooks will be back in Thurston County Superior Court for his arraignment in two weeks.

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