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April 24, 2014

Woman may face dog abuse charges

LAWRENCE — The woman who reported to police she found an abused Chihuahua puppy in a trash container last week, was actually the animal’s owner, according to Lawrence police.

Animal Control Officer Ellen Bistany said yesterday she will seek animal cruelty charges against the woman.

The woman received the dog from a Lowell woman who gave away a litter of puppies, according to Bistany. When the original owner saw the Chihuahua’s photo in media reports, Bistany said, she went to the Lawrence police station to give them a description of the woman who picked up the puppy.

“I got a call from someone who originally owned the puppy, and she actually came into the station with the mother dog. She was hysterical,” Bistany said.

Bistany responded to a call reporting an abused puppy on Tuesday, April 15. When she arrived, the dog was in a box in a Lawrence apartment. Bistany said the male puppy was bruised, had bloodshot eyes and was having trouble breathing. The resident claimed to have found it in a Dumpster.

“My guard must have been down that day, because I’m usually pretty good at telling if somebody is lying,” Bistany said.

Based on the Lowell woman’s report, Bistany returned to the Lawrence apartment several days later to question the resident. She said the woman contradicted herself when pressed to explain how she found the dog. Further medical examination at MSPCA’s Angell Animal Medical Center in Boston revealed internal injuries and trauma to its head, she said.

Bistany said the puppy is recovering and she expects it will be put up for adoption after foster care at the MSPCA facility at Nevins Farm in Methuen.

Bistany said once a summons is issued, the case goes to a clerk magistrate to determine whether there is sufficient evidence to charge the woman.

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