Lyman Morkunas Allegedly Bragged About Breaking a Puppy's Legs With a 16-Pound Sledgehammer

One of the easiest ways to piss off Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio -- aside from being in the country illegally or writing for New Times -- is to mess with a puppy.

Or probably it's just that Joe realizes animals get his mug on TV easily.

Animal abuse is one of Arpaio's press-release-worthy crimes, for sure, and Lyman Morkunas' allegedly bragging about using a 16-pound sledgehammer to break a puppy's legs probably didn't help keep him out of Arpaio's latest bulletin.

According to the MCSO, the pit bull puppy was brought to a vet last week with two "severely broken legs," and one of those legs will probably be amputated.

The couple who brought the dog in told detectives they'd gotten the puppy from Morkunas, who "bragged" about using the sledgehammer to break up a fight between the puppy and an adult dog, the Sheriff's Office says.

Morkunas seemed to have left out that detai when speaking with detectives, as the MCSO says Morkunas told them the puppy was injured from the fight with the older dog.

Morkunas admitted to detectives that he didn't seek medical treatment for the puppy, the Sheriff's Office says, and he was jailed on one felony count of animal abuse.

Morkunas was released from jail shortly after his initial appearance.

Aside from the pup's two broken legs, it also had multiple puncture wounds and a major infection due to the lack of medical treatment, according to MCSO.

On one of the puppy's legs, there's a "severe fracture" to one of the joints, while the other leg "was shattered all the way through the bone," the Sheriff's Office says.

The couple couldn't afford the dog's treament, so they signed it over to the animal hospital, and an animal-rescue group called PAWS has been funding the pup's medical treatment.

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Matthew Hendley
Contact: Matthew Hendley