2006_09_bebe.jpgA Queens judge issued an order of protection on behalf of a 15 pound dog. Fredrick Fontanez was ordered to stay away at least 100 yards from Bebe the bichon frise and Bebe's owner, Derek Lopez, after Bebe was found with "extensive bruises" on his body. The Post reports that the two were dating and had gotten into a fight over the phone while Fontanez was in Lopez's Queens apartment, dogsitting Bebe.

Lopez allegedly told Fontanez, who lives in The Bronx, to be out of his house by the time he got home from work.

Sometime later, neighbors report hearing blood-curdling yelps and howls from the apartment where Fontanez, who is 5-foot-10 and 180 pounds, was alone with 5-year-old Bibi, a cute, 15-pound, white powder puff of a dog.

"I heard him kick the dog. You know when a dog yelps, you know something is not right," said neighbor Miguel Colon, 38. "I know when a dog is being hurt."

Fontanez left when Lopez got home - and Colon told him what he had heard. Lopez was shocked when he saw the pup.

"A few minutes later, he knocks on my door and says, 'Yo, look at this,' He's got the welts, he's got black and blues," said Colon, an animal lover. "It was black and blue over his spine, maybe four inches from his tail. You could see he was shivering, see it in his face.

"You know that's not cool - that's not cool. Because that dog can't defend itself," he said. "The guy should go pick on some of the pit bulls or Rottweilers around here."

Well, no one should pick on any animal - not even pit bulls or Rottweilers - but we understand why Colon was so upset - what kind of jerk beats up a dog?

The order of protection for Bebe is believed to the first for an animal. ASPCA Special Agent Joseph Pentangelo told the NY Times, “Very often, abusers use animals to get at the people they are abusing and animals get caught in the middle. They know that the pet might be dear to the person they are abusing.” In July, Governor Pataki extended orders of protection in abusive households to include pets; Queens State Senator Frank Padavan and Manhattan Assemblywoman Linda Rosenthal co-sponsored the bill.