MSPCA-Angell Press Release

Suspect Arrested in North Adams Pet Rabbit Killings and Mutilations

June 11, 2010

MSPCA Law Enforcement and North Adams Police departments track down suspect

A 23 year-old male suspect, Wayne C. Brackett of North Adams, alleged to have cruelly killed and mutilated several pet rabbits in a Berkshire County town, has been arrested as a result of a joint investigation by the MSPCA Law Enforcement and North Adams Police departments. Members of the public have come forward to identify the suspect after viewing surveillance footage of the repeated brutal acts of animal cruelty. Following an interview with the suspect, the law enforcement departments conducted a search of the suspect’s residence and discovered evidence that corroborated the charges. Charges include five counts of animal cruelty, five counts of malicious killing of an animal, one count of breaking and entering at night, and one count of malicious destruction of property.

“The MSPCA Law Enforcement and North Adams Police departments have been actively pursuing the suspect’s identity and collecting crucial evidence since Tuesday evening,” said Sergeant Roy Sutton of the MSPCA’s Law Enforcement department. “In addition to assigning many man hours to the investigation, we have thoroughly reviewed surveillance footage of the crime scene, examined the scene and bodies of the animals, secured a necropsy of one of the rabbits, enlisted the assistance of a state police tracking dog, and carefully interviewed numerous witnesses and the suspect. Following this thorough investigation, the suspect’s residence was searched and an arrest was able to be made.”

“We hope that news of this arrest will bring some relief to the residents of this quiet community as well as the family who lost many defenseless pets to such senseless and savage acts of cruelty,” Sutton added.

The mutilated bodies of several pet rabbits were discovered at Berkshire County Construction, a local business operated by the young pet owners’ family, on the night of Tuesday, June 8 amidst signs of a break-in. Both law enforcement departments sought information regarding a suspect who was caught on surveillance tape savaging the pet bunnies. The bodies of the rabbits were found strewn about the property including a baby bunny and a severely mutilated rabbit left hanging by a chain after its ears and tail had been cut off.

“Regrettably, the savagery repeatedly inflicted upon the helpless rabbits exceeds any brutality I’ve seen in quite a while,” said Peter Gollub, director of the MSPCA’s Law Enforcement department. “These animals posed no threat to the suspect, and in fact some rabbits even curiously approached him. How anyone could systematically and completely ignore the suffering of these unsuspecting creatures dumbfounds me as much as it angers me. I am not surprised to hear that substantial concerns exist about this suspect’s past and future encounters with humans and animals alike.”

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