Cooper the puppy recovering after alleged abuse in Colorado Springs

Top Stories

WARNING: Details of this story may be disturbing to some viewers.

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo.– The Humane Society of the Pikes Peak Region (HSPPR) and Animal Law Enforcement (ALE) are helping a puppy recover after suffering gruesome injuries.

In early December, officers began an in-depth investigation into reports of a man beating a dog named Cooper. 

Cooper, a 1.5 year old terrier, has severe trauma to both his eyes, which has left him blind at this time.

In addition to the eye injuries, he has recent and older fractures to his ribs, suggesting abuse continued over time, according to HSPPR. Cooper also has abrasions on his paws consistent with being dragged, as well as a tail injury that is now improving.

An acquaintance of Cooper’s owner, 22-year-old Christian Lance Balkham of Colorado Springs, was charged with aggravated cruelty to animals by ALE, which is a felony. In addition to receiving a felony summons for animal cruelty, Balkham was also arrested by Colorado Springs Police Department on unrelated charges, according to HSPPR.

In addition, Cooper’s owner has also been charged with one misdemeanor count of cruelty to animals for housing Cooper in an unsafe environment and not getting Cooper timely and appropriate veterinary care.

“Sadly, our evidence leads us to believe that Cooper was intentionally harmed, repeatedly over a period of time, by the individual charged,” Director of ALE Jamie Norris said. “This has been a very emotional case for our officers, and we are glad Cooper is safe and receiving the care he needs. We thank the community members who spoke up on Cooper’s behalf and called ALE. Without them stepping up, Cooper may have remained in this situation. HSPPR encourages members of the public to call ALE when they witness suspected abuse.”

FOX21 visited Cooper on Tuesday. He was very loving and excited to meet new friends!

>>To donate toward Cooper’s eye surgery and continued medical care, please visit

Copyright 2021 Nexstar Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

Latest Local Stories

More Local