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Cottonwood Heights man admits to hitting injured puppy '1-2 times a week'

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Posted at 3:56 PM, Jun 20, 2022
and last updated 2022-06-20 17:56:40-04

COTTONWOOD HEIGHTS, Utah — A Cottonwood Heights man faces multiple charges of animal torture after police say he injured several dogs which he had previously adopted or purchased, including a puppy he admitted to hitting up to two times a week.

Four counts of torture of a companion animal were filed against Kaiden Orie Graham, 20, last week.

The charges stem from an investigation that began on May 17, 2022 when a Cottonwood Heights police officer went to Graham's home after a co-worker said they were worried his dogs weren't being taken care of while he was away.

After Graham told the coworker that his door was unlocked, she went inside and was "consumed" by the heavy odor of urine and feces, according to the charging documents. Inside, the woman found a puppy that appeared to be malnourished and had a "problem with its ear." The report claims the dog had difficulty standing and kept falling over.

Another dog was found inside a locked kennel with feces and urine.

An investigation found that Graham had adopted seven dogs between March 2021 and January 2022.

"After calling most of the veterinary clinics in Salt Lake County, there are many animals over the course of a year that have been injured/died of injuries after being in Kaiden Graham's care," the officer wrote.

The 5-month-old Shiba Inu puppy underwent a CT and MRI scan that found several broken ribs, a broken jaw, spinal injuries and severe head trauma. Graham told the officer he had hit the puppy "1-2 times a week" and that's why it had a broken jaw.

Police learned that a chinchilla and cat had also allegedly died in Graham's care