Firefighter accused of leaving his dog locked in crate to die after eviction

KANSAS CITY, Mo. -- A dog found dead in a crate inside a bedroom closet has led to charges against a Missouri firefighter who police say left the pet behind when he was evicted from his apartment.

Blayne Trevor Theunissen, a 25-year-old firefighter with the Kansas City Fire Department, is charged with animal neglect and animal abuse, a misdemeanor.

According to the charging documents, animal control officers made the grisly find Sept. 17 when they were called out to The Crossing at Barry Road, an apartment complex south of I-29 and Barry Road in the Northland.

The apartment manager told the animal control officer that after Theunissen was evicted, they went into the apartment and found the dog dead and decomposing in the bedroom closet.

The dog was a female chocolate Labrador retriever mix.

The dog's body was examined by a veterinarian, who determined she was severely emaciated at the time of death. Her 'body condition score' was a 1 out of 9.

The veterinarian's report said there were large maggots found on her of more mature larvae.

The investigator noted he tried to reach Theunissen numerous times through the firefighters union and by the phone number that had been given by apartment management.

"At this time, Blayne Theunissen is refusing to cooperate with the investigation involving animal abuse and neglect," said the special investigator in his report.

The fire department declined to comment on this story.

The eviction notice went up on Theunissen's  door on June 30, according to apartment management. The eviction was executed on Sept. 7, although Theunissen was not there.

It is unclear how long the dog had been left alone, unfed in her crate in the apartment closet.