MSPCA-Angell Secures Conviction in Felony Animal Cruelty Case

May 28, 2014

BOSTON, May 28, 2014 – The MSPCA-Angell’s Law Enforcement department today applauded judge Gregory Phillips for sentencing Korina Ferreira of Taunton, Mass. to one-and-a-half years in a state correctional facility after a jury found her guilty in April of starving her two-year-old American bull dog, Pebbles.

MSPCA Law Enforcement officer Chris Charbonneau leveled the felony animal cruelty charge against Ferreira in March after the Taunton animal control officer seized the severely emaciated Pebbles, who was also suffering from multiple pressure sores on her body.  The veterinary staff at Taunton Animal Hospital, who tended to Pebbles with round-the-clock care for ten days, reported that she was extremely nervous upon intake but gained 19 pounds after two weeks of treatment.

Before: an emaciated Pebbles is examed by the veterinarian (credit: MSPCA-Angell)

Diagnostic tests confirmed that Pebbles had no underlying illness, but instead was being slowly and deliberately starved by Ferreira.  “This conviction is not only justice for Pebbles but a win for all animals rescued from abusive or negligent owners, and who await justice for enduring unspeakable suffering,” said Officer Charbonneau after Ferreira’s sentencing.

While Ferreira prepares to serve her time at the Bristol County House of Correction, Pebbles is enjoying her new life in an adoptive home. 

News of the conviction comes at a busy time for the MSPCA’s Law Enforcement department.  In the last six months the MSPCA investigated over 760 complaints and prosecuted eight individuals for animal cruelty.  To date only the Ferreira case has resulted in a conviction and jail time.

The MSPCA’s Law Enforcement department is currently pursuing five additional cases, totaling more than 15 animal cruelty charges.  The department will announce updates on these cases in the weeks and months ahead.

“Animal cruelty remains a scourge in the bay state and it’s gratifying to see district attorneys, juries and judges treat these cases as seriously as we do,” said Richard LeBlond, head of the MSPCA-Angell Law Enforcement department.  “Our commitment to eliminating cruelty in our state is never-ending and we will relentlessly investigate and prosecute these cases to secure justice for these animals.”

Animal cruelty is a felony crime in Massachusetts and carries a maximum prison sentence of five years and a fine of up to $2,500.

After: Pebbles gained 19 pounds after ten days of intensive treatment and is now living in a loving adoptive home (credit: MSPCA-Angell

The MSPCA-Angell Law Enforcement team works with the organization’s adoption centers, hospital and advocacy experts to investigate animal abuse in Massachusetts.  In 2013 the department investigated nearly 2,000 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