IDAHO SPRINGS, Colo. (KDVR) — WARNING: GRAPHIC VIDEO ABOVE – A hidden camera placed in a bedroom captured something a pet owner never anticipated. Now 31-year-old Gregory Burrell faces a felony count of burglary and a misdemeanor count of animal cruelty for what he’s seen doing on camera Feb. 3 in Idaho Springs.
The footage obtained by the Problem Solvers shows Burrell entering the bedroom of a woman he shared an apartment with and grabbing her dog for reasons unknown.
He picks the dog up by her collar and throws her down. The dog appears to be choking and is audibly crying out in pain before she’s thrown out of frame, perhaps onto a bed.
Then Burrell appears to kick the dog and picks her up again and this time slams the dog against a wall.
“We’re lucky that we had a video to indicate what actually happened otherwise this crime may have never been discovered,” said Bruce Brown, the District Attorney for the 5th Judicial District, which includes Clear Creek County.
Burrell made his first court appearance on Sept. 28, where investigative reporter Rob Low asked Burrell why he’s seen on camera throwing a dog against a wall.
“Why don’t you ask the dog owner,” replied Burrell, who insisted he had permission to be in the room and added his female roommate owed him money.
Burrell would not explain what he was looking for in the room of his former roommate but acknowledged feeling bad for what he did, “Are you crazy? Yeah I do. Yes of course I do feel bad about it.”
FOX31 showed the video to Marty Irby, the Executive Director of the Animal Wellness Action organization in Washington D.C.
“I would call it torture is what I would bill it in my book. This guy should have the book thrown at him and he should be in jail,” said Kirby.
Currently, Burrell is free on bond. In Colorado, animal cruelty is a misdemeanor punishable by up to a year in the county jail.
“I think that speaks that the state law seriously needs an upgrade,” said Irby.
Burrell told reporter Rob Low, he’s probably going to hell for what he did, “Are you trying to come at somebody who’s make one mistake in their life?”
Burrell has yet to enter a guilty or not guilty plea. He’s due back in court Nov. 9.
“My actions were out of haste, they were wrong yes they were. I’ve owned many dogs, I own dogs now. I’ve never been violent, so yeah I made a mistake.”
The district attorney considers it more than a mistake. Bruce Brown also charged Burrell with burglary for entering his former roommate’s bedroom without permission and that felony count can carry up to 16 years in prison.
“It’s just heart-wrenching to see an innocent animal be abused in such a way by both being thrown against a bed and then thrown against a wall for no reason at all. This wasn’t disciplining an animal. This was a gratuitous violent act,” said Brown.
The woman who owns Rebel told FOX31, her dog has made a full recovery and she hopes Burrell is held accountable for his actions.