After long wait, East Providence Police finally make arrest in pet abandonment case

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EAST PROVIDENCE — A one-time city resident and business owner who several months ago was charged with pet abandonment was finally taken into custody Thursday, Oct. 3, by East Providence Police.

Heather Shirley, 36, who’s last known address in city was 72 Ivy St., was formally arrested and charged with three counts of animal abandonment stemming back to a case initiated in March of this year, East Providence Animal Control Officer Will Muggle told The Post and eastbayri.com Thursday afternoon.

The charges against Ms. Shirley, who ironically once owned a dog-walking operation in East Providence, were brought when three cats were found to be abandoned in an apartment at the Ivy Street location. EPAC was alerted to the animals by the new tenants, who were taking over the residence formerly occupied by Ms. Shirley.

According to police, Ms. Shirley evidently moved out of the city and state at the time, eventually being tracked to a location in Bourne, Mass.

Law enforcement was alerted to Ms. Shirley's return to the area in recent days. She was arrested Thursday in City Hall attempting to set up a payment arrangement for the civil fines she faced in the case, Officer Muggle said.

Ms. Shirley was arrested on the criminal charges, booked and released with a date to appear in district court, Officer Muggle added.

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