ASPCA Arrests Two Suspects in Separate Animal Cruelty Cases

Cases include three puppies that had been severely neglected
January 14, 2013

NEW YORK— Humane Law Enforcement (HLE) agents of the ASPCA® (The American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals®) have arrested two suspects on separate animal cruelty incidents. The animal victims, three puppies, suffered from various forms of neglect. 

Brooklyn resident and New York City Correction Officer Justin Burton was arrested on Saturday, January 5 for allegedly neglecting his one-year-old male pit bull mix, named Tori.

On October 5, 2012, HLE agents responded to Animal Care & Control's (AC&C) Brooklyn facility to investigate a report of a dog with an embedded collar who had been surrendered by his owner, Mr. Burton. It was determined that the dog, Tori, had lived with Burton in the Brownsville section of Brooklyn prior to being surrendered. When agents arrived at AC&C, they noticed that Tori appeared to be suffering from a severe neck wound; they subsequently transported him to the ASPCA Animal Hospital for treatment and evaluation.  

ASPCA veterinarians found Tori to be in severe pain from the wound, which was estimated to be three weeks old and caused by an embedded collar. Tori was treated with pain medication and antibiotics, and he is continuing to recover at the hospital. He will eventually be made available for adoption.

Burton, 35, was charged with one count of misdemeanor animal cruelty. If convicted, he faces up to one year in jail and/or a $1,000 fine. Burton's court date is scheduled for February 6, 2013.

In a separate incident, Manhattan resident Jerome Smith was arrested on Tuesday, December 18 for allegedly neglecting his two dogs, a male terrier mix puppy named Jack and a female terrier mix puppy named Jill. Both dogs are estimated to be 10 months old.

On September 11, 2012, HLE agents began investigating a case involving two dogs that had been picked up by AC&C from an apartment on Lenox Avenue in Harlem. The dogs, Jack and Jill, had been left behind by their owner, Mr. Smith, after he was evicted. The dogs were initially taken to AC&C's Manhattan facility; upon examination, the dogs appeared emaciated and the ASPCA was notified. HLE agents responded and transported Jack and Jill to the ASPCA Animal Hospital.

ASPCA veterinarians found Jack and Jill to be dehydrated, malnourished and severely underweight. Upon intake, Jack weighed 12.7 pounds and Jill weighed 8.5 pounds. After being fed a balanced diet and receiving treatment by ASPCA staff, Jack now weighs 36.5 pounds and Jill weighs 30.3 pounds—a 187 and 256 percent increase, respectively. Both dogs were adopted on January 13.

Smith, 23, was charged with two counts of misdemeanor animal cruelty. If convicted, he faces up to two years in jail and/or a $2,000 fine. Smith’s court date is scheduled for January 29, 2013.

To report animal cruelty in New York City, the ASPCA encourages the public to contact its Humane Law Enforcement department at 877-THE-ASPCA (843-2772) or [email protected]. For crimes in progress, individuals should call 911. Outside of New York City, individuals should contact their local humane organization or police department.

Tori at intake on October 5. Part of the neck wound from the embedded collar can be seen.

Tori three months after receiving treatment at the ASPCA's Bergh Memorial Animal Hospital.

Jack and Jill upon intake. Both have skeletal appearances due to the loss of body fat and muscle.

Jack and Jill four months after receiving treatment at the ASPCA’s Bergh Memorial Animal Hospital.