12/03/2012 02:37 EST | Updated 02/02/2013 05:12 EST

Owner in dog beating death charged with animal cruelty

Charges of animal cruelty have been laid against the owner of a German shepherd found beaten and dying in a dumpster earlier this year.

Brian Whitlock, 26, is expected to make his first court appearance on Dec. 7.

"The B.C. SPCA is extremely pleased that Crown counsel accepted our recommendation for charges in this case," said spokesperson Lorie Chortyk.

"It is absolutely heartbreaking to think of the suffering that this dog experienced — it’s beyond comprehension."

Captain was found wrapped in a bloody blanket in a dumpster in the 1400 block of Maple Street on July 18.

The dog was conscious but unresponsive and was suffering from serious lacerations and massive bruising to its head and body. Tests later revealed that Captain had extreme neurological and spinal damage and was likely going to be a quadriplegic.

"Captain received the very best, around-the-clock medical care," Chortyk said.

"We did everything in our power to save him, but his injuries were just too serious and he died of cardiac arrest the following day."

Captain's story sparked an outpouring of support from the public, prompting vigils and public calls for an end to animal cruelty.

If convicted, Whitlock faces up to five years in jail, a fine of up to $75,000 and up to a lifetime ban on owning or having custody of animals.