Sweet Home man arrested for animal abuse

A Sweet Home man has been arrested on charges of animal abuse after he allegedly threw a dog to the ground with such force that it broke the animal’s leg so badly, it had to be amputated, Sheriff Bruce Riley said last week.

Sheriff’s deputies arrested Jonathan Michael Farris, 27, on first-degree animal abuse charges after he allegedly caused serious injury to a brindle-colored female boxer named Willow.

Willow, approximately 1½ years old, suffered a broken leg when Farris threw her to the ground, Riley said.

Riley said Linn County Animal Control, which is operated as a branch of the Sheriff’s Office, received a call July 22 regarding two boxers running at large in the area of 37th Circle in Sweet Home.

Deputies found both female dogs and seized them as strays. One boxer was approximately 8 months old and was not injured. The other, Willow, required “extensive medical care, due to her injuries,” Riley said.

Deputies were able to locate the owner of the dogs, identified as Denise Armstrong of Sweet Home. Armstrong told deputies she was unable to care for the dogs so she gave them to her nephew, Jonathan Farris, to board and care for, Riley said.

Armstrong told deputies she learned Farris had beaten the dogs and threw them outside his home.

On July 30 deputies were able to make contact with Farris at his residence in the 1000 block of 37th Circle in Sweet Home. Farris admitted to deputies that he threw Willow to the ground, which caused her leg to break, Riley said.

Armstrong signed over ownership of both dogs to Linn County Animal Shelter. The 8-month-old has been adopted out to a good home, and a Sheriff’s spokesperson said that, as of Monday night, some 60 people had expressed interest in adopting Willow.

Riley Riley expressed appreciation to the staff at Linn Veterinary Hospital and Reid Veterinary Hospital, saying their care and support were critical in Willow’s recovery.

Farris is scheduled to appear Aug. 20 in Linn County Circuit Court.