Thursday, May 21, 2009

Woman Sentenced to Jail in Poodle Death

Neighbor Found Dog in Trash Can

By Conor Greene

A Maspeth woman will serve 30 days in jail after admitting to stuffing her severely beaten poodle in a suitcase and leaving it to die in a trash can outside her 54th Place home. She later told police she was having trouble caring for both the pet and her baby.

Sonia Perez, 21, of 60-49 54th Place pleaded guilty Monday to attempted aggravated cruelty to animals. She was immediately sentenced to 30 days in jail and three years’ probation, announced District Attorney Richard Brown. She must also make restitution to the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals for medical care administered before the poodle’s death.

Perez was arrested on March 5 after a neighbor heard the injured dog from inside the trash can. The poodle was having difficulty breathing when the neighbor found it, was very cold and laying limp and non-responsive in its own feces. The dog was taken to the local Animal Care and Control Center and later turned over to the ASPCA where it was diagnosed with scrotal bruising and rib fractures. The dog died the following day.

Following her arrest, Perez was charged with felony aggravated cruelty to animals and misdemeanor torturing an animal before agreeing to plead guilty to the lesser charge this week. A witness told police that that Perez had told him previously that it was difficult to care for the dog while raising a child, and a police source said a neighbor reported that she had beat the dog on prior instances.

“The defendant showed a complete disregard for the life of a helpless and severely injured animal. Instead of getting help, the defendant unceremoniously tossed the dog into the trash like rubbage to either die a slow death or be crushed by a sanitation truck’s compactor,” said Brown.

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