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According to the criminal complaint, officers responded on the evening of June 21, 2009 to a 911 call in reference to the stabbing of a dog. Upon arrival at the scene on Trailsway in the City of Madison, a Madison Police Officer reported a large amount of blood in the kitchen and the living room, as well as scattered items such as cloth and paper towels apparently used to wipe up the blood. He also observed a young puppy bleeding from the neck area and in need of immediate medical attention.

The subject who initiated the 911 call was identified as 47-year-old Susanne Burgaz of Madison. The officer observed what looked like blood on her hands and clothing. Burgaz stated that the man she lived with, later identified as Richard J. Maier, had stabbed the 3-month-old German Shepherd puppy named Shep approximately 3 or 4 hours ago. She said Maier stabbed the puppy because it wouldn’t be quiet.

“(The dog) kept yelping and barking. Rick (Richard Maier) yelled at the dog to shut up, but the dog kept barking,” Burgaz stated. “He opened the door and took a knife.”

When asked to further describe the stabbing, Burgaz could not explain to the officer any more beyond stating that Maier had done it. She claimed that she had tried to help the dog by pouring iodine on the wound and gluing it with super glue. She also noted that she had tried to stop the bleeding by applying as much pressure as she could “short of strangling the dog.”

The officer contacted Richard Maier, 60, who stated that the puppy kept barking which angered Susanne Burgaz. He further stated that Burgaz yelled out “I’ve had enough!” and removed a red-handled kitchen knife from her purse. According to Maier, Burgaz ran over to the cage where the dog was located, pulled the dog out with one hand, and “stuck it once with the knife.” The dog was stabbed in the neck area.

Maier stated that Burgaz dragged the dog into the living room by a leash attached to the dog’s collar. Though the dog was bleeding heavily from the neck, Maier said that he believed Burgaz felt she could fix the wound.

“She thought she could fix it. She put iodine on it and super glue too,” he said. “I think the efforts to save the dog lasted until you got here. But before you got here, before you were called, she ran upstairs, called you guys, and said I did it.”

Maier further stated that 45 minutes to an hour went by before Burgaz called the police, and he believed the dog was going to die. He said that he felt the police should have been called earlier, because “the dog didn’t deserve that at all.”

The officer again questioned Susanne Burgaz regarding the incident. Burgaz stated that Maier had told her to “get the (expletive) dog to stop barking!” She further stated that Maier demanded that she kill the puppy and that she “had no choice” as “he’s bigger than me.” She claimed that Maier held a knife to her neck and made her stab the dog. When pressed for further details, Burgaz would only state to the officer “I can’t explain it. It was horrible.” She also could not explain how the knife got into her hand. The officer reported no noticeable marks on Burgaz’s neck.

A second officer transported the puppy to an emergency animal clinic where the knife wound was treated. The veterinarian described the laceration as being approximately two and a half centimeters wide.

A jury trial is scheduled for Susanne Burgaz on November 17, 2009. She is being charged with Intentional Mistreatment of Animals and Obstructing an Officer. Richard Maier is also charged with Intentional Mistreatment of Animals and scheduled for a settlement conference on August 21, 2009 in the Dane County Circuit Court.

For further info: Madison Police Dept Incident Report

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