A 43-year-old Ketchikan man has been charged with criminal trespass and animal cruelty after he allegedly entered a family member’s house without permission and beat that family member’s dog.
Alaska State Troopers received a call from a woman at a Pond Reef home a little before 2 p.m. Sunday, reporting that a family member had just left after coming in without permission and hitting another family member’s dog with a baseball bat.
Troopers Spokeswoman Megan Peters said, “Our investigation shows that 43-year-old Michael Kacenas of Ketchikan entered his family member’s residence while the homeowner was out of town after specifically being told not to go to that home. While he was at that home, he significantly injured the homeowner’s dog.”
Peters wasn’t able to provide details because troopers are still investigating the case. However, more information was provided in the criminal complaint filed with the court.
According to that complaint, the family member who was housesitting told troopers that she heard the dogs barking and “shrieking,” and the sound of someone hitting something. She told troopers that she went to the back door, where she allegedly saw Kacenas using a baseball bat to hit the resident’s cocker spaniel multiple times in the body and face.
The woman told Troopers that after she let him know she was there, Kacenas came toward her with the bat, but she yelled at him and he ran away. She says she picked up the dog, and it was lethargic and bleeding out of its nose.
Peters said the dog needed medical care.
“The dog had to be taken to a local vet clinic and treated and then monitored, essentially,” she said. “They were very, very worried about its health.”
The criminal complaint states that the dog did not have any broken bones, but had suffered trauma to the head.
According to the complaint, when contacted later at his Vallenar View trailer home, Kacenas denied any involvement and told troopers that he hadn’t been to the Pond Reef home for four days.
The housesitter told troopers that while the intruder had worn a scarf that covered the lower half of his face, she had easily recognized him as Kacenas.
According to the criminal complaint, the family member who lives at the home told troopers that Kacenas might have hurt the dog because Kacenas knows how much the dog means to him.
Kacenas was charged with first-degree criminal trespass, a misdemeanor domestic violence offense; and felony cruelty to animals. He was arraigned Monday in Ketchikan District Court, and released on $1,000 bail.
This story has been updated throughout with additional details.