New features are coming soon. Login with Facebook to get an early start and help us test them out!
For more information about the Interactive Animal Cruelty Maps, see the map notes.
Friday, Dec 29, 2006County: Erie
Alleged: Charmaine M. Twarozek
Case Updates: 4 update(s) available
A 55-year-old Cheektowaga woman faces charges of cooking up a lethal batch of meatballs mixed with rat poison and feeding it to a neighbor's dog because she was upset about the animal's barking.
The dog survived, and Charmaine Twarozek of Heather Road was arrested, Cheektowaga police confirmed Sunday.
"She's charged with poisoning a dog and with cruelty to animals, misdemeanors under the agriculture and markets law," Capt. John A. Glascott said. "We've seen disputes over barking dogs before, but it's unusual to see it go this far."
Twarozek was arrested Friday night after Officer James Jenson investigated a complaint filed by her neighbor Sue Anderson, the owner of a 1-year-old German shepherd mix named Roscoe. Police said Jenson found some incriminating evidence - a frying pan coated with remnants of ground beef and rat poison - in the trash in front of Twarozek's house.
Anderson said she and Twarozek, whose home is directly behind hers, had been involved in a long, heated dispute over Roscoe's barking.
"We got Roscoe in February, and [Twarozek] has been complaining to the town about him since Memorial Day weekend," Anderson said. "She complained to the dog warden several times. The dog warden investigated, talked to our neighbors and declined to file charges. Our other neighbors told him Roscoe only barks at the mailman or the paperboy, not constantly."
Twarozek did not return calls seeking her comment. Glascott said he was aware of a long-standing dispute over the dog's barking but was not familiar with the details.
Anderson said she and her husband, Michael, had to take Roscoe to an emergency animal clinic.
The dog will be given vitamins for the next few weeks and will have to be examined several times by a veterinarian, she said.
Anderson said she and her husband let Roscoe out in the backyard "for about five minutes" Friday evening.
She said her husband went outside and noticed that the dog was eating something it found by the back fence, near Twarozek's property.
"My husband brought Roscoe in, and he had a meatball in his mouth. He dropped it on the floor, and I could see there were little green pellets, cooked right into the meat," Anderson said.
The couple called police, and officers with flashlights found six more poisoned meatballs in the backyard, Anderson said.
The Andersons said they believe their dog ate only one small piece of one meatball. "I think Roscoe sensed there was something wrong with it," Anderson said.
According to Anderson, Twarozek denied any wrongdoing when questioned by police. But she was arrested after officers searched her garbage and reportedly found the frying pan, ground meat and rat poison.
Anderson said she and her husband love their dog and were extremely upset.
"We take something like this pretty seriously," Glascott said. "For a lot of people, a dog is like a member of the family. Something like this tugs on a lot of heartstrings. . . . You can't take things into your own hands because you're upset about a barking dog."
|A woman accused of poisoning a dog will appear in court next for a motions hearing on August 20, 2007 in Cheektowaga Town Court. |
Charmaine M. Twarozek faces misdemeanor animal cruelty charges for allegedly poisoning her neighbor's dog by feeding meatballs mixed with rat poison.
|Source: Case # 07010456|
Update posted on Jul 31, 2007 - 7:02PM
|A woman accused of poisoning her neighbor's dog appeared in court last week and is scheduled for trial in July. |
Charmaine M. Twarozek faces misdemeanor animal cruelty charges for allegedly feeding meatballs mixed with rat poison to her neighbor's dog because she was upset about the animal's barking.
Twarozek will appear in court July 24 at 8:30 a.m. in Cheektowaga Town Court.
|Source: Case # 360 AM|
Update posted on May 22, 2007 - 5:18PM
|A woman accused of poisoning her neighbor's dog will appear in court next on March 21, 2007 at 10:30 a.m. Charmaine M. Twarozek faces misdemeanor charges of poisoning a dog and cruelty to animals in Cheektowaga Town Court, located at 3223 Union Rd., Cheektowaga, NY 14227.|
|Source: Case # 360-AM|
Update posted on Mar 7, 2007 - 3:16PM
|An ongoing neighbor dispute over a dog's barking almost became lethal for the pooch when the animal ate a meatball laced with rat poison, a concoction Cheektowaga police say was cooked up by a disgruntled neighbor.|
The dispute became malicious on December 29 when Charmaine M. Twarozek, 55, of 72 Heather Road was arrested after police investigated a complaint that the dog had been poisoned.
Susan Anderson of Mayfair Court told the Times that her husband, Michael, had placed their dog Roscoe into their fenced rear yard. When Roscoe began to linger near the Andersons' six-foot privacy fence along Twarozek's property, Michael called the dog.
As the dog approached, Michael noticed that the animal had picked up something near the rear fence in its mouth.
"He dropped a hardball-sized meatball at Mike's feet," Susan Anderson said. "Mike brought it in and asked, 'What do you make of this?' and I said, 'That's rat poison.'"
Anderson said that her husband took a flashlight to investigate and discovered two more meatballs along the fence that were laced with rat pellets similar to those found in the first meatball. That's when they called police.
Officers James Jenson and Dana Cadwallader investigated and found five additional meatballs containing the poison pellets.
Jenson then went to Twarozek's home. She spoke to Jenson from a garage door and the officer observed rat poison boxes in plain view in the garage. When Jenson asked Twarozek about the rat poison, she said she used it during the summer to deal with rats.
"She had already put her garbage out to the curb, which is not private property," said Captain John Glascott. "The officers scooped up the garbage bags and went through them."
Inside the garbage bags, police found a frying pan containing cooked ground beef and a rat poison pellet, additional rat poison packaging and pellets, packaging for ground beef, mail with Twarozek's name on it and a receipt for rat poison, dated October 15, 2006.
Twarozek faces two misdemeanor charges of animal cruelty under New York State's Agriculture and Marketing law. The charges include torturing or injuring an animal and poisoning an animal.
According to police, the dispute began in 2006 when the Andersons brought Roscoe home.
Twarozek apparently didn't like the dog's barking, and began to com- plain to police about the animal.
Cheektowaga police received four complaints from Twarozek about Roscoe.
"We have been over there several times on barking dog complaints," Glascott confirmed. "But, we've checked with the neighbors, and nobody except Twarozek has complained about this dog barking."
Neighbors told police that they only hear Roscoe bark when the mail or newspaper is delivered.
Because previous police investigations concluded that Roscoe isn't a nuisance animal, no action had been taken against the Andersons. Glascott said that Twarozek has complained to police about other neighborhood dogs.
"We and our neighbors have always had problems with her," Anderson said of Twarozek. "We've always kind of written it off, but now we're dealing with whether the dog is going to live or not."
The Andersons contacted an emergency veterinarian and were advised to pour peroxide down the 21-month-old dog's throat to induce vomiting.
"The vet still wasn't sure, so we had to take Roscoe in on Saturday," Anderson said.
Roscoe is being fed a preventative medicine and faces another round of blood work next week.
Anderson said that she and her husband are not letting Roscoe roam in their yard by himself.
"My yard is a pretty good size, but now we have him on a retractable leash," Anderson said.
Her neighbor's actions have Anderson upset for more than what happened to Roscoe.
"We don't have children, but we have 20 nieces and nephews," Anderson said. "What if we have the kids over? You know how kids put things in their mouths."
The story has gained national attention. Cable television news channel CNN included information in its reports on Tuesday.
As police placed Twarozek into custody, her boyfriend became irate and verbally abusive toward officers. He was told several times to calm down, but he refused and continued his profanity-laced outburst. At one point, the man threw Twarozek's boots at officers and the patrol car.
Thomas M. Glowgowski, 55, of Cambridge Court was ultimately charged with disorderly conduct. He was booked and released on an appearance ticket.
Police say Glowgowski previously listed a home address in Fairfax, Virginia.
|Source: Cheektowaga Times - Jan 4, 2007|
Update posted on Jan 6, 2007 - 12:32AM
- Associated Press via SiLive - Jan 1, 2007
- Buffalo News - Jan 1, 2007
- Cheektowaga Times - Jan 4, 2007
Note: Classifications and other fields should not be used to determine what specific charges the suspect is facing or was convicted of - they are for research and statistical purposes only. The case report and subsequent updates outline the specific charges. Charges referenced in the original case report may be modified throughout the course of the investigation or trial, so case updates, when available, should always be considered the most accurate reflection of charges.
For more information regarding classifications and usage of this database, please visit the database notes and disclaimer.