October 1, 2012
BOSTON and Lawrence, Mass., Oct. 1, 2012 – Late in the evening on Saturday, June 17 a small two-year-old gray tiger cat named Brady was beaten so severely that he later had to be euthanized at Angell Animal Medical Center. Today, the MSPCA-Angell’s Law Enforcement division announced it has secured an animal cruelty conviction against Nancy Rivera of Lawrence, Mass. for causing Brady’s injuries. Rivera was sentenced in September to one year in prison and served three months. She was also sentenced to two years’ probation and 60 hours of community service.
Today’s announcement marks the latest in a series of successful actions for the MSPCA’s Law Enforcement department. Thus far in 2012 the MSPCA has filed criminal charges in eight new animal cruelty cases and continues pursuing multiple ongoing cases in various stages of completion.
Investigating Brady’s Death
When MSPCA Law Enforcement Office Martha Parkhurst, a veteran with over 26 years’ experience investigating and prosecuting animal cruelty, arrived at the scene on June 18 she discovered shocking evidence of animal abuse. Brady, whose face was swollen and bloody, was in severe pain and hiding under the bed in a rented room in the small boarding house at 77 S. Union Street in Lawrence where the crime occurred. Vincent Rumore, the cat’s owner who lives in a room near the one that was occupied by Rivera, was able to coax him out just long enough for Officer Parkhurst to examine him. “Brady’s face was swollen and he had blood on his paws; he was drooling and Mr. Rumore confirmed that he was having trouble eating and was very quiet,” said Parkhurst.
Parkhurst learned through interviews with boarding house staff that Rivera had used the stick-end of a mop to first beat the panicked cat down a flight of stairs, then corner him in a bathroom while continuing the assault. Rivera stopped only when staff intervened. She then fled to her room afterward.
Rumore told Parkhurst that he had not taken Brady to a veterinarian because he could not afford to treat him. Rumore agreed to surrender the animal and Brady was ultimately taken to Angell, where x-rays confirmed a jaw injury so severe that the veterinary team concluded the kindest option would be to euthanize him.
Bringing Brady’s Killer to Justice
Officer Parkhurst conducted extensive interviews with the boarding house’s tenants and staff, preparing a solid case that led to Rivera’s conviction. Said Parkhurst after the judge’s ruling, “I’m very pleased that the judge took this case so seriously and imposed an appropriate sentence.”
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.