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Crime & Courts

Ketchikan man charged in baseball-bat beating of dog

  • Author: Chris Klint
  • Updated: September 30, 2016
  • Published January 4, 2016

A Ketchikan man faces animal cruelty charges, after Alaska State Troopers say he trespassed into a local home in the Southeast Alaska community over the weekend and hit a dog with a baseball bat.

Court records show Michael D. Kacenas, 43, was charged with one count of felony animal cruelty and one count of misdemeanor first-degree criminal trespass. According to Alaska statutes, felony animal cruelty involves knowingly inflicting "severe and prolonged physical pain or suffering on an animal."

Troopers' account of the incident began shortly before 2 p.m. Sunday, when they were first called about a trespasser at a home on Pond Reef Road, they wrote in a Monday dispatch.

"Investigation revealed (Kacenas) had entered a family member's residence while the homeowner was out of town after being told not to be at the house by that family member," troopers wrote. "AST received further reports that Kacenas had possibly injured the homeowner's dog during the incident. The dog was transported to a local veterinary clinic where it was treated and will be monitored for the next 24 hours." Staff at the Stonetree Veterinary Clinic in Ketchikan said the dog in the case did well under treatment and was subsequently sent home.

According to a criminal complaint against Kacenas filed Sunday by Trooper James Kimura, troopers were first called by a woman who was house-sitting for the homeowner, who was out of town. While she was at the residence, she heard a commotion in its Arctic entryway.

"She went to the back door of the residence where she observed Michael beating (the homeowner's) prized cocker spaniel dog multiple times in the body and face with a baseball bat," Kimura wrote. "(She) stated when she made her presence known, Michael started to come after her with the bat."

According to Kimura, the house-sitter said Kacenas began to advance on her until she yelled at him to "get the (expletive) out of here" and he ran away, jumping over a back fence.

The dog -- apparently lethargic and bleeding out of its nose -- was taken to a veterinarian, who discovered head trauma, but no broken bones.

Speaking to troopers by phone, the homeowner said that Kacenas had previously been barred from visiting the residence, according to charging documents.

"(The homeowner) stated Michael was upset with him and a possible motive for injuring the dog was a way to get back at him because Michael knew how much the dog means to him," Kimura wrote.

Kacenas, who troopers said denied beating the dog, was arrested and initially held at the Ketchikan Correctional Center without bail. He was set to be arraigned at 1 p.m. Monday.

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