NEW YORK--Humane Law Enforcement (HLE) agents of the ASPCA® (The American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals®) yesterday arrested Bronx resident Johnnie Mae Friedman for starving and physically abusing a 1½-year-old male Maltese-poodle mix named Prada.
On November 29, 2010, HLE agents investigated a report of a dead canine. Prada's owner had initially left him in the care of Friedman in July 2010. When the owner called in November to retrieve Prada, she was informed that the dog had died. The owner subsequently picked up Prada's remains and notified the ASPCA.
Prada was brought to the ASPCA's Bergh Memorial Animal Hospital for a necropsy. Results of the necropsy revealed that he had died of starvation and had also sustained two separate blunt force trauma injuries to his head.
Friedman, 48, was arrested on March 27 by ASPCA Special Agent Bradley English. She was charged with one count of cruelty to animals, a misdemeanor. If convicted, she faces up to one year in jail and/or a $1,000 fine.
"Unfortunately, we see cases like this one that involve a pet being abused by someone whom the owner trusted to care for the animal," said Joseph Pentangelo, assistant director of the ASPCA's Humane Law Enforcement department. "It underscores the importance of doing due diligence when searching for temporary care for your pet."
Pet owners looking for professional pet sitters or boarding facilities are encouraged to visit the ASPCA's website for a list of referrals and reputable sources: http://www.aspca.org/about-us/faq/pet-sitters-and-boarders.aspx
To report animal cruelty in New York City, contact the HLE department at (212) 876-7700, ext. 4450 or firstname.lastname@example.org.