East Providence woman, owner of dog walking company, is charged with cat abandonment
The man claimed to have found the dog "unrestrained/abandoned" under the highway underpass near 840 Warren Ave. The man told SPCA employees he was driving by that spot and saw the Rottie standing there on three legs and because no one was with the dog he turned around picked it up. The dog appeared to have only three legs due to a large bloody mass on one of its feet.
The SPCA, as it routinely does, contacted EPAC to investigate the matter. Officer Muggle said he was immediately "suspicious" considering where the dog was found and because his office had not been alerted especially with it allegedly having taken place at the heavily trafficked location.
Officer Muggle said he attempted to contact the man at the phone number he provided only to discover it belonged to a traveling nurse out of Westerly. He was told by the female who answered the call she knew no one by the man's name.At the point, Officer Muggle contacted Barrington Police because the address the man left with SPCA was 122 Walsh Ave. in that town. He was told by BPD the residence did not exist.Upon further investigation, Officer Muggle found the man to be a Warren resident, confirming the information with the Warren Police Department and Animal Control.Officer Muggle eventually located the man and after initially sticking with his phony story, later came clean. He and his son had had the dog since it was a pup, and the dog, "Apollo," was about seven-years-old. The man said that the dog had been very thin for a number of years due to its severe hip dysplasia, and that he had spotted the growth, which finally prompted him to bring the dog to the SPCA, a couple months prior.
Due to the dog's condition and because the man had been deceitful to the SPCA, he was charged.
"I think the problem some people are having in these cases is that they don't have the money to provide sufficient care to an ailing pet or are afraid that if they seek help after allowing a condition to go untreated longer than they should have, that they will be prosecuted for animal cruelty by coming forward, when actually it's quite the opposite," Officer Muggle explained.
"If someone was to come forward looking for help with an ailing pet, and say 'hey, I can't afford to treat my pet. I need help' or 'Look it's a hard decision to make but I think my pet is suffering and needs to be euthanized, but I can't afford it' or 'I know I should have gotten my pet treatment sooner, but I couldn't face that the pet may need to be put down' animal shelter staff and veterinarians everywhere understand this. We face these problems every day," he added.
"As long as a pet owner is seeking help and trying to do the best by the animal they won't face charges," Officer Muggle concluded. "Expenses, hard work, and maybe some difficult decisions, but never criminal prosecution. However, not coming forward and allowing the pet to suffer or dumping an animal off in the streets or at a shelter under false pretenses is an unacceptable methodology that is clearly irresponsible behavior and indicative of an irresponsible pet owner and will result in criminal and civil penalties."
Remy case update
Officer Muggle updated the case of Derrick Remy, a Swansea man, who lied about finding a stray dog in city earlier this year.
Mr. Remy is alleged to have falsely claimed the ailing Dachshund/Hound mix he owned to have been a stray so as to not pay for its care or to have it properly euthanized.
Mr. Remy is due in court on Thursday, March 28, to face charges of providing false information to an officer. EPAC is also seeking fees for services rendered in the case.