A Massachusetts man is facing animal cruelty charges after police say he buried a dog alive in Northbridge because it wasn't getting along with his cat and he could not find it a new home.
Richard Piquard, 24, was arraigned Tuesday on an animal cruelty charge in Uxbridge District Court and freed after posting a $1,000 bond.
Authorities said they received a call from a woman at 12:20 p.m. Sunday after she found a Shih Tzu buried.
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Chico, a family dog, was about 18 years old. The family was talking about getting him euthanized when Piquard of the town's Whitinsville section allegedly decided he'd had enough.
"Sick [expletive] left him alive," said family friend Kaylee Belanger, who found the dog with her fiance.
Chico was found in a hole, his head covered by a rock.
"I didn't believe it," Belanger said. "I turned around and he was gasping for air."
Belanger said she was messaging with Piquard, who had been watching the dog. He was writing about his new kitten when he said the dog had died.
"She's a cutie," Belanger wrote about the cat.
"Chico ended up passing last night and yes she is haha," Piquard replied.
Belanger started searching for the dog to get him cremated. She says Piquard sent her fake directions so she wouldn't find him. After about 45 minutes of searching, they unearthed Chico.
She held back tears at Tufts Veterinary Hospital in Grafton. She says he couldn't move his head or stand up.
"He was extremely malnourished," Belanger said. "He was dehydrated. He had anemia from flea infestation."
The dog had to be euthanized.
Piquard is due back in court Oct. 26.
It's unclear if he has an attorney.