Seasoned police officers are calling it one of the most disturbing cases of animal abuse they have ever investigated.

19-year-old William Goyette, of Turner Valley, was charged with cruelty to an animal after RCMP became aware of a March 13, 2013 incident involving his 12-week-old Collie puppy named Lucky.

The pup had suffered three broken legs and a broken jaw after being allegedly kicked, thrown and punched by his former owner.

Goyette was greeted outside of the Okotoks courthouse on Friday morning by more than twenty animal rights advocates.  The collected group shouted and jeered as the accused arrived for his first court appearance.

“This was a very, very bad case of animal abuse and we need to see these types of cases have something rather than a slap on the wrist,” says Heather Anderson with the D.A.I.S.Y. Foundation, a group which advocates for stiffer penalties for animal abusers and to aid in the rescue of abused animals. 

“We want to see the judges be hard on these guys.”

Lucky is still in the care of a veterinarian and is recovering.  A number of people have expressed interest in adopting him.

Goyette is scheduled back in court on April 26.