Routt County deputy taken to ER after dog bite; woman arrested on animal abuse charge |

Routt County deputy taken to ER after dog bite; woman arrested on animal abuse charge

Derek Maiolo/Steamboat Pilot & Today

STEAMBOAT SPRINGS — An Oak Creek woman was arrested on a warrant Tuesday in an alleged animal abuse incident that landed a Routt County Sheriff’s Office deputy in the emergency room. 

Rebekah Butkovich, 25, faces two felony charges, including cruelty to animals and contributing to the delinquency of a minor, according to an arrest affidavit obtained from the Routt County Justice Center. 

On Saturday afternoon, animal control officers with the Steamboat Springs Police Department received a report of a woman seen beating a dog in the City Market parking lot. 

A witness told police the woman, later identified as Butkovich, repeatedly kicked the dog in the parking lot. At one point, she kicked the dog so hard it slid under a neighboring car, according to the affidavit.

Rebekah Butkovich

“She then dragged the dog out with the leash and began kicking the dog over and over,” the witness told police. 

The witness told Butkovich to stop but she refused, saying the dog had been mean to her young son. Butkovich also allowed the child to beat the dog multiple times, according to the affidavit. 

Based on the witness’ statement and security camera footage that showed the dog behaving fearfully, police issued a warrant for Butkovich’s arrest for “unnecessarily and cruelly” beating the dog, according to the affidavit. The charge of contributing to the delinquency of a minor arose from Butkovich allegedly encouraging her son to “violate the law and allowed the child to repeatedly beat the dog.”

Law enforcement obtained the license plate of the vehicle in which Butkovich is seen driving off in, which was registered to an address in Oak Creek. Butkovich was taken into custody and booked into the Routt County Jail at 5:28 p.m. Tuesday, according to arrest records.   

Deputies assisted police in the arrest. As Deputy Cody Owens was trying to secure the dog, it bit him on the hand, according to Undersheriff Doug Scherar. The bite broke the skin, but Scherar said the injury was minor.

Owens was taken to the emergency room at the UCHealth Yampa Valley Medical Center as a precaution. 

The dog remains on a 10-day bite hold, as required by state statutes, according to Police Commander Annette Dopplick. Following the dog’s release from the bite hold, police will maintain custody of the dog to use as evidence in the animal abuse case, Dopplick said. 

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