A Massachusetts man is facing animal cruelty charges for allegedly burying his girlfriend’s 17-year-old dog—who was later euthanized following the traumatic ordeal.
WHDH reported that Kaylee Belanger called police Sunday afternoon after she found the Shih Tzu buried under a rock and dirt behind Richard Piquard’s Whitinsville home. Northbridge Police Chief Walter Warchol told the station that Piquard initially claimed he thought the dog was dead when he buried him.
In a Facebook post, Belanger, a family friend of the dog’s original owner, now deceased, said Piquard, 24, recently decided he wanted a kitten and reached out to his ex-girlfriend and her mother about taking back the dog, named Chico; otherwise he would be euthanized. The ex-girlfriend told Piquard that she would make arrangements and take him in a few weeks, according to Belanger.
Belanger, who reportedly knows the suspect, claimed Piquard sent her pictures of his new cat and said Chico would have to go. It was the next morning when Piquard reportedly messaged Belanger and revealed that Chico died the night before. Belanger said the series of events appeared suspicious and led to her to Piquard’s home to look into the matter.
According to the lengthy Facebook post, Piquard told Belanger she could come remove the dog to have it cremated.
Belanger wrote, “Hesitantly, I continued to move the dirt when we noticed fur. We uncovered a portion of Chico’s head. Only to realize that the rock was on top of him. I lifted the rock and there he was. Took a step back to grab the blanket when my fiancé shouted. ‘He’s breathing!!’”
Belanger said the Shih Tzu was yelping in pain despite his mouth being filled with dirt.
“Chico was evaluated to be malnourished, dehydrated, in shock with hypothermia as well as anemia due to the infection of fleas on him,” she wrote. “He had matted and stained fur. And he was clearly being neglected before being buried alive.”
Though the dog miraculously survived being buried alive, Belanger said the decision was made to put down the 17-year-old dog. According to the Telegram & Gazette, Piquard allegedy said he buried Chico because his ex-girlfriend wouldn’t find a new home for him and because the dog didn’t get along with his new cat.
The cat is in the custody of Piquard’s parents. MassLive reported that Piquard remains free Tuesday on a $1,000 bond.
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[Featured image: Facebook]