The owner of a dog that was discovered emaciated and wandering the streets of Kent was arrested and charged with animal cruelty on Wednesday.
The Putnam County SPCA announced Kent resident Elizabeth Santos, 53, was charged with allegedly committing one count of animal cruelty, a class A misdemeanor. The arrest was made in connection with an Apr. 27 call the SPCA had responded to where the Town of Kent Dog Control Officer found a severely matted poodle mix wandering on Chief Nimham Drive.
The dog, which was immediately taken to Guardian Veterinary Specialists in Brewster, was found to also be dehydrated, emaciated, and suffering from Lyme’s Disease, according to the SPCA.
Officials reported the matting was so severe it wrapped tightly around the dog’s legs and feet, causing difficulty for the dog to walk normally. The dog also had severe dental disease in its teeth.
In addition, the dog was unable to see through the fur covering its eyes and the skin under the matting was raw and inflamed. The dog’s ears were also infected, according to the SPCA.
“This is one of the worst cases of matting that we have encountered,” said SPCA Chief Ken Ross. “As the fur mats, it pulls away from the skin, causing constant physical pain for the animal. The matting retains water which irritates the skin further as the matting constantly rubs the skin raw.”
Acting on an anonymous call following pleas for information, officers of the Putnam County SPCA Law Enforcement Division were able to locate the dog’s owner and interviewed her at the Town of Kent Police Department where she was subsequently placed under arrested.
Santos, who lives on Chief Nimham Drive, will be arraigned in the Town of Kent Justice Court on May 18 at 10:30 a.m.
“If you own an animal, treat it as you would want to be treated. If you find you are falling behind in its care, reach out to a rescue group or the Putnam County SPCA and seek their help and guidance,” Ross said. “Doing nothing isn’t an acceptable action – the animal suffers, and the owner becomes subject to arrest.”
Officials said the poodle mix is recovering nicely after being groomed and treated by Guardian Veterinary Specialists.