Cruelty Charges Over Dog Disfigurement

Overview

While the majority of Law Enforcement’s complaint calls are received from outside sources, calls also sometimes come in from other parts of the MSPCA-Angell organization. In February of 2010, Officer Nadya Branca responded to a call from the emergency desk at Angell Animal Medical Center. Ten five-day-old puppies had just come in with their ears badly injured after their caretaker had attempted to crop them with no anesthetic and a pair of household scissors.

The pups, their mom, and a second adult dog had been staying with a friend of the dogs’ owner while he was searching for a new place to live that would allow large dogs. The dogs’ owner and their new caretaker ended up having a falling out, and the caretaker refused to return the dogs to their owner unless the owner reimbursed him in cash for their care. The men eventually reached an agreement for the dogs to be returned to their owner.

When the owner received his dogs, he was horrified to see that the pups’ ears had all been cut. After calling his local animal control officer, he brought them to the MSPCA-Angell for veterinary care and to report the caretaker to Law Enforcement. Although nothing could be done to reattach the severed portions of their ears, the puppies were healing surprisingly well.

Outcome

The caretaker was charged with ten counts of violating Massachusetts General Laws Chapter 272 section 80A and the animal cruelty law. He admitted to the court sufficient facts to cruelty and received one year of supervised probation, during which time he could not own any dogs, and was fined a victim witness fee.