November 15, 2012
BOSTON Nov. 15, 2012 – The MSPCA-Angell’s Law Enforcement department announced today it has filed animal cruelty charges against Lionel James Gaumond of Southbridge, Mass. for keeping a wild skunk trapped in a box trap for over a week in mid-July until it died in the extreme summer heat. Gaumond’s pre-trial hearing is scheduled for 9:00a.m. today in Dudley District Court where he will face one count of felony animal cruelty.
MSPCA Law Enforcement Officer Christine Allenberg arrived at Gaumond’s home on July 18 after receiving a complaint from Environmental Police Officer Mark Brighenti. Brighenti informed Officer Allenberg that he removed the skunk’s decomposing body and the trap from Gaumond’s property the day before, and asked the MSPCA to pursue an investigation.
This July 2012 photograph shows the trap with the deceased skunk still inside (credit: MSPCA-Angell)
After securing additional information about the case from Officer Brighenti, Officer Allenberg returned to the home. Following a lengthy interview with Gaumond Officer Allenberg concluded that there was ample evidence to support an animal cruelty investigation, and he was charged. Said Officer Allenberg about the case, “This skunk died in an excruciatingly painful way over the course of several days—a period in which he had no access to food, water or shelter from the heat. I’m pleased that we are on the way to securing justice for this animal.”
Living with Wildlife
The MSPCA has extensive resources available online to help all citizens in Massachusetts peacefully coexist with wildlife, including specific recommendations for how to make yards and gardens less appealing to skunks and other animals. For a complete review of these recommendations readers can click here.
The MSPCA-Angell Law Enforcement team works with the organization’s adoption centers, hospital and advocacy experts to investigate animal abuse in Massachusetts. In 2011 the department investigated over 2,300 animal cruelty complaints around the Commonwealth.
The MSPCA-Angell is a national and international leader in animal protection and veterinary medicine and provides direct hands-on care for thousands of animals each year. Founded in 1868, it is the second-oldest humane society in the United States. Services include animal protection and adoption, advocacy, humane education, law enforcement, and world-class veterinary care. The MSPCA-Angell is a private, non-profit organization. It does not receive any government funding nor is it funded or operated by any national humane organization. The MSPCA-Angell relies solely on the support and contributions of individuals who care about animals. Please visit www.mspca.org.