Dog allegedly tortured gets outpouring of support

Dog allegedly tortured gets outpouring of support »Play Video
A 6½-pound dog named Lacey is seen after she was allegedly struck in the mouth with a golf club and had her eyes sprayed with bleach.
BAKERSFIELD, Calif. -- A 6-pound mixed-terrier dog named Lacey is still struggling to recover after allegedly being struck in the mouth with a golf club, having her eyes sprayed with bleach and being left untreated for days.

Lacey's plight has outraged not only people in Kern County, but people around the world. Donations are pouring in from as far away as Australia and England.

But what people still want to know is why someone would do this to a seemly innocent, defenseless little dog?

Bakersfield police believe Lacey was abused by her owner, Robert Gonzales.

Sophia Slider, Gonzales' next-door neighbor and ex-mother-in-law, said Lacey was very loyal to Gonzales. Slider said she is surprised Lacey is still alive after seeing pictures of Lacey's injuries. Lacey is described by Slider as a "sweet animal" and a mild-mannered dog.

On Monday, Eyewitness News talked with Gonzales over the phone. He said he's being falsely accused and claimed Lacey got the chemical burns from turning over a bucket filled with cleaning supplies.

But the Department of Public Health doesn't think Gonzales' story holds up. Director Matt Constantine said, "You can't do this to an animal. This is a 6-pound terrier who didn't have a voice. We need to give a voice to that animal."

Because a public agency can't accept donations, Public Health has partnered with Friends of the Kern County Animal Shelters Foundation to raise money for Lacey.

"Based on the overwhelming response, there is enough money to cover Lacey's costs, but (also) money that can be used in the future to help other animals," Constantine said.

Donations can be made on the Friends of the Kern County Animal Shelters Foundation's website or by sending a check to the foundation at P.O. Box 11494, Bakersfield, CA, 93389.

The foundation requests donors make note if the money is intended to help Lacey.

The animal hospital that is treating Lacey said she's slowly recovering and has more surgeries ahead.

Once police are finished with their investigation, the case will be sent to the district attorney's office for review and consideration of charges.