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A Bismarck man is scheduled to go to trial in December for allegedly misusing his dog’s electronic collar to the point that it caused burns and made the dog quiver and lie down.

Police in a June affidavit allege Shawn Belgarde, 44, kept the collar on the 7-month-old yellow Labrador at its highest setting. Witnesses told police Belgarde would repeatedly use the device, causing the dog to yelp until the collar automatically turned off.

The dog had a 5-by-5-inch area of burn marks on its neck, the affidavit said. The burns were in varying degrees of healing, which police say indicated that abuse was ongoing. Police obtained a search warrant to seize the dog.

Defense attorney Chad McCabe said it's unfortunate that Belgarde has been accused.

"My understanding is he hired someone to take care of the dog and they were in charge of it," McCabe said. "We will be presenting his defense at trial."

A jury trial on the felony charge is set for Dec. 3.

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Reach Travis Svihovec at 701-250-8260 or Travis.Svihovec@bismarcktribune.com

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