A 67-year-old Petaluma man accused of felony abuse of a chocolate Labrador on Friday was given a 120-day jail sentence and prohibited from owning any additional domestic animals.
Robert Nielson had been charged with one count of animal cruelty, which carried a maximum prison sentence of three years, after his Labrador, known as “Boomer,” was found weak, sick and starving near the intersection of McNear Avenue and Petaluma Boulevard South on Jan. 28.
Under the terms announced by Judge Ken Gnoss, Nielson’s jail term is scheduled to begin Aug. 17, but if he is accepted for work furlough, he won’t need to serve jail time. He would, however, be under supervised electronic confinement.
Nielson also is prohibited from owning any animals other than his cat, and is required to complete counseling and other assistance programs as directed by his probation terms.
Petaluma police received a tip in mid-March that Nielson was Boomer’s owner. He was arrested on a $10,000 warrant on suspicion of neglecting the Labrador, but initially denied the charges.
Nielson eventually admitted that he owned the dog, but didn’t reveal how it became so unhealthy.
Boomer is continuing to recover in the home of Tony and Donna Donnelly, who adopted him on May 21. He had been recovering at the Petaluma Animal Shelter, where he was named, “Boomer” because of the way his health steadily improved after receiving proper care.