NAUGATUCK, Conn. (WTNH) – Naugatuck police announced an arrest Wednesday morning in a dog abuse case that first made headlines back in May.
The case involves a Siberian husky who was found wandering the streets of Naugatuck, suffering from months of neglect and abuse. Justice had a metal chain embedded in the skin of his neck.
According to court documents obtained Wednesday, the husky’s original name was Max. However, at the time of finding him, police named the dog Justice, hoping to bring his alleged abusive owner to justice. They asked for tips from the public, and it worked.
“The reason you guys are here is because we got justice for Justice today,” Sgt. Danielle Durette of the Naugatuck Police Department announced at a press conference. “An anonymous caller called in with some information saying that the dog belonged to someone who lived in Waterbury.”
It took four months of investigating alongside Waterbury authorities, but on Tuesday, police arrested the dog’s owner, 38-year-old Emanuel Pizarro-Boria. He is charged with cruelty to animals, lack of rabies vaccination and a roaming dog.
Police said the husky was discovered about three miles from Pizarro-Boria’s Waterbury home.
“The dog was living in a shed outside, was tethered via the chain and had been heard previously yelping and scratching at the walls of the shed that it lived in,” Durette said.
According to court documents, that chain had to be surgically removed from his neck. The dog also appeared underweight and aggressive, documents said.
Animal control made a new video of Justice four months later. He is all healed, both physically and mentally. He was a different dog when animal control first got him.
“He was not friendly, just due to the condition he was in,” Officer Steve Rupsis of Naugatuck Animal Control said. “Today, when you watch the video, you’ll see how he interacts with everybody. He’s a great dog.”
Animal law advocates Desmond’s Army helped with that process. An arrest is exactly what they work for in cases like this.
“This doesn’t happen very often that we can bring someone to justice, so we’re very thankful,” Linda Pleva of Desmond’s Army said.
Pizzaro-Boria was released from Waterbury Superior Court Wednesday after he bailed out of his $10,000 bond. His next court appearance is scheduled for Oct. 20.
While the criminal case continues, Justice is still considered evidence, so he cannot be adopted but is healthy enough to leave the shelter.
Naugatuck Animal Control is looking for a family with experience with huskies to foster Justice. If you’re interested, contact the animal control office at (203) 729-4324.