Trial date set for man accused of leaving chained dog in storage

Published: Jun. 18, 2014 at 5:34 PM CDT|Updated: Aug. 26, 2014 at 10:12 PM CDT
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Braveheart was found emaciated and chained up inside a Shreveport storage facility in September...
Braveheart was found emaciated and chained up inside a Shreveport storage facility in September of last year. The trial is starting for his original owner, Gabriel Lee, who has plead not guilty to animal cruelty.

SHREVEPORT, LA (KSLA) - A Shreveport man accused of leaving his dog to die in a storage unit had a hearing Wednesday to determine when his trial will start.

Gabriel Sinclair Lee, 31, has plead not guilty to felony aggravated cruelty. His trial date was set for Aug. 26.

Lee's emaciated, malnourished pit bull, later named Braveheart by his rescuers, was discovered chained in a metal storage unit on Youree Drive last year.

A crowd gathered Wednesday at the courthouse to show their support of Braveheart.

When police made the initial report of Braveheart's discovery last September, Caddo Parish Animal Services did not begin investigating the alleged abuse until after learning about it from a local reporter last October. That's when the dog was taken from his foster family, Bo and Ronda Spataro. That created an uproar among those who felt the dog should be allowed to recover at their home, rather than the sterile confinement of the animal shelter.

A protest was planned and a petition was circulated, gathering more than 10,000 signatures in just over 24 hours before it was shut down with word of Braveheart's release to a local vet.

Braveheart now lives with his adopted family. He is reportedly doing well and happy in his new home.

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