NAUGATUCK —Police have made an arrest in the case of a Siberian husky that was found in May with a chain embedded in its neck.
Police announced in a news conference at the department that Waterbury resident Emanuel Pizarro-Boria, 38, turned himself Tuesday and was charged with cruelty to animals, failure to have a rabies vaccine, and roaming dog.
He was held in lieu of a $50,000 bond and was scheduled to appear in Superior Court in Waterbury Wednesday.
The court is expected to bar Pizarro-Boria from owning or caring for any animals, police said.
The case drew the attention of Desmond’s Army, a nonprofit organization that aims to better the lives of animals and combat animal abuse.
"The outcome is what we all hoped for," said Desmond's Army vice president Linda Pleva. "This doesn’t happen very often that we can bring someone to justice, so we’re very thankful, said Pleva.
The husky, named Justice after he was brought to police in May, has fully recovered. Justice was found with a metal chain embedded in his neck that had to be surgically removed. Police estimated the chain had been on the dogs neck for at least 6 months, but likely longer. According to Animal Control Officer Steve Rupsis, Justice is now around 3 years old and has the energy to match his age. He's rambunctious, but he's a great dog, Rupsis said.
Justice is not currently available for adoption because of the ongoing legal processes, but the department is looking for a foster family that can care for him in "some cushier conditions," said Officer Danielle Durette. Someone with experience having a husky would be preferred, she said.
"In Naugatuck we never ever give up," said Mayor Pete Hess. "I’m extremely proud of officer Rupsis, his team, the police department, working with Waterbury, and really bringing in great effort, with a lot of thought, and showing how we really care about cases like this in Naugatuck," Hess said.
“This is what we’re all about, and justice for Justice says it all," Hess said.
Justice was brought to the department on May 13 by concerned residents who lured him into a car on Platts Mill Road, according to police. A news conference was held that month, which led to an anonymous tip from a caller who said the dog belonged to a Waterbury resident, Durette explained.
The caller reported that Justice was living outside in a shed, and they'd heard the dog yelping and scratching at the shed walls, Durette said.
When justice was found, he was 2.7 miles away from Pizarro-Boria's house. Rupsis said they don't know exactly how Justice got there, but Pizarro-Boria claimed he gave the dog to someone else.