Owner facing felony animal cruelty charge in “Frankie” case

Dog was allegedly beaten, shot and left to die near Foresthill
By: Gus Thomson, Journal Staff Writer
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While his former owner is facing a felony animal cruelty charge, Frankie – a dog beaten, shot and left for dead near Foresthill – has been adopted into a loving home.

Pet adoption center Scooter’s Pals in Grass Valley had provided foster care for the injured pooch since soon after Frankie was found Sept. 11 tied by a rope to a tree. The dog’s blood-encrusted face was riddled with pellet-gun wounds. Its jaw was badly broken.

With the help of an outpouring of support and donations from the community, Frankie – also known as Butch – recovered and was adopted by a family with grandchildren earlier this month. The Journal has contacted a representative of the family but was told they have chosen to remain anonymous at this time.

Susan Wallace, the rescue group’s founder, said Frankie is in good hands after living through what she has described as “every rescuer’s nightmare.”

“The home is a nice place,” Wallace said. “The dog is with children the dog loves. It’s just a good placement.”

Based on investigative information filed by Placer County’s animal services division, the Placer County District Attorney’s Office is moving forward with prosecution of Frankie’s former owner on a cruelty charge connected to the Labor Day weekend injuries suffered by the small terrier-crossbreed.

Mark Steven “Redneck” Pope of Foresthill has been charged with a felony count of cruelty to one’s own animal, Assistant District Attorney Jeff Wilson said. Pope was unable to be reached for comment on Friday. He is to be arraigned March 4 in Superior Court in Roseville on the charge.

The complaint, filed by Deputy District Attorney Peggy Turner, states that Pope allegedly “had charge and custody of (Frankie) and shot his dog in the face with a pellet gun, breaking its jaw.”

The complaint says that the shooting also resulted in other unnamed additional injuries to the dog.

Frankie was abandoned in the woods, tied to a tree and subjected to “needless suffering,” the District Attorney’s Office is alleging.

The complaint goes on to allege that Pope failed to provide the dog with proper food, drink, shelter and protection from the weather.

Wallace said that even a plea of no contest to a felony count would provide other animals with protection from an abusive owner. Under a felony no contest plea, a defendant would be banned from owning an animal for up to five years, she said.