Puppy found in near-freezing, rainy conditions; owner facing cruelty charges

(WPRI)

PAWTUCKET, R.I. (WPRI) — A dog owner is facing criminal charges – accused of leaving the animal tied up outdoors, in rainy, near-freezing conditions, with no shelter.

The Rhode Island Society for Prevention of Cruelty to Animals said it received two tips that the puppy was in distress. Investigators found the dog, a 5-month-old Rottweiler named Ebony, tied to the base of a trampoline in a yard, several feet away from a doghouse, next to a food dish. The weather was rainy, with temperatures as low as 35 degrees.

Photos provided by the RISPCA’s Joe Warzycha show the leash the dog was tied to gave the dog less than three feet of roaming room. He said it was tied in a knot that would be difficult for a human to untie, as well as impossible for a dog to escape from.

Vladimir Paulino is charged with animal cruelty and mistreatment of an animal. If convicted, he could face up to a $500 fine and up to 11 months in jail for each charge.

Warzycha said Tuesday pet owners cannot tether a dog for more than ten hours a day, or confine him or her in a pen or cage for more than 14 hours. Rhode Island Law further mandates dogs must have access to shelter if the elements are detrimental to the well-being of the dog.

Tufts University’s Cummings School of Veterinary Medicine has outlined a scale (TACC, or “Tufts Animal Care and Condition”) to assess the body condition and the dog’s environment. On a scale of one to five – with five being the worst – Warzycha said the conditions in which Ebony was found were more like a six considering the weather and the age of the dog.