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Charges Upgraded Against Man Who Poured Boiling Water On Dog

CHICAGO (CBS) -- Authorities have upgrade charges against a 20-year-old college athlete accused of throwing boiling water on his dog after the animal urinated on the floor.

Kyle Voissem, 20, a criminal justice major at the University of Illinois at Chicago, was originally charged with misdemeanor animal cruelty for the Oct. 18 incident.

But due to the severity of the burns, charges have been upgraded to a felony, Asst. Cook County State's Atty. Lorraine Scaduto said Friday.

Scaduto didn't provide further explanation as to why the charges were bumped up more than a month after Voissem's arrest in December.

Kyle Voissem
Kyle Voissem, 20, is chrged with pouring scalding water over his dog's head. (Credit: UIC Flames)

Kyle Voissem, 20, of the 1700 block of South Desplaines Street, was boiling water to make macaroni and cheese for his dinner when the dog, a Mountain Cur mix named Byron, urinated on the floor in his sight, police said.

Voissem got so angry that he doused the dog over the head with the scalding water in the pot, police said. The animal was left with severe burns to the head and torso.

The dog, who suffered second- and third-degree burns, was turned over by Voissem to the Anti-Cruelty Society, which provided veterinary care and successfully adopted the dog to a new home.

Voissem was ordered held on $100,000 bond. Originally from Wisconsin, he is going to UIC on a scholarship for gymnastics, his attorney William Fahey said.

UIC spokesman Bill Burton said Friday that Voissem has not participated in the university gymnastics program since his arrest in December. As of Thursday, he is no longer on the team, Burton said.

The incident occurred in early October but the dog was not treated until Oct. 28, she said. He was adopted out on Oct. 30, she said. Byron remains in the area, but she would not specify where.

"He was a great dog," Anti-Cruelty Society president and veterinarian Dr. Robyn Barbiers said. "When I met him he was just the happiest and friendliest dog. It is great when we can find a great home for a dog like that."

The Sun-Times Media Wire contributed to this report.

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