Case Snapshot
Case ID: 14887
Classification: Throwing, Beating
Animal: dog (pit-bull)
More cases in Worcester County, MA
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Abuse was retaliation against animal's bad behavior
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Sunday, Nov 16, 2008

County: Worcester

Disposition: Convicted

» Christopher A. Devlin
» Victoria Voedisch - Dismissed

Case Updates: 3 update(s) available

Police in Worcester are investigating what they call a horrific case of animal abuse: a man accused of killing a puppy and torturing another dog.

Police said they are looking for Christopher Devlin, 23, in connection with the case.

Tyson, a pit bull puppy that survived the abuse, had severe injuries and had to have the ball joint removed from his hip.

Portions of his front leg were crushed and veterinarians said it will have to be amputated later this month. His broken pelvis will have to heal on its own.

"He's eventually going to need a special home, lots of care and TLC," said Doreen Porter, the executive director of the Worcester Animal League

The dog will be up for adoption in a few months.

Police allege that Devlin threw the other puppy, Ched, against a metal door, causing fatal injuries. When they went to Devlin's apartment to serve him with a warrant, he could not be located.

Police documents said Devlin beat both puppies to discipline them and then let the dogs suffer from their injuries.

"He had so many injuries and we had so little time to react. He was in so much pain for quite some time," Porter said.

Tyson is facing several more surgeries that will be costly for Worcester Animal Rescue.

Case Updates

Judge Andrew M. D'Angelo

Victoria Devlin, also known as Victoria Voedisch, 26, of 17 Vinson St., Worcester, charged with cruelty to an animal, dismissed.

Christopher A. Devlin, 23, of 17 Vinson St., Worcester, charged with two counts of cruelty to an animal, sentenced to two concurrent terms of 1 year in the House of Correction, concurrent with another sentence now being served; and two counts of killing, maiming, or poisoning an animal, dismissed.
Source: - Sept 2, 2009
Update posted on Apr 2, 2011 - 8:12PM 
An investigator said yesterday that witnesses heard Christopher A. Devlin threaten to kill his pit bull puppy a day before the 16-week-old dog suffered traumatic injuries.

But Mr. Devlin, 23, who contacted a reporter yesterday, said the puppy named Tyson fell from a clothes dryer and hurt his leg. Police say Mr. Devlin abused Tyson to such a degree that the puppy is recovering from major surgery and is scheduled to have his leg amputated Dec. 11.

Officer Joseph L. Cardin, an investigator for the Worcester Animal Rescue League, said a veterinarian will testify that Tyson suffered blunt trauma and the dog's injuries are not consistent with a fall from a clothes dryer.

Police and officers with the Massachusetts Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals were continuing their search yesterday for Mr. Devlin. They allege that he killed one pit bull puppy and seriously injured Tyson, who is at the Worcester Animal Rescue League. He has already had the first of many operations for a shattered hip, broken pelvis and dislocated elbow, according to Doreen LaPorte, executive director.

Mr. Devlin, whose address is listed by police as 17 Vinson St., is being sought on a warrant charging him with two counts of cruelty to animals and two counts of killing, maiming or poisoning an animal, according to police Lt. Robert F. Rich.

Mr. Devlin said that is the address of his girlfriend, Victoria Voedisch. Police said she is being summoned to court Dec. 5 on one count of animal cruelty.

Ms. Voedisch, 25, said there is no way she or her boyfriend would ever have hurt the puppies. She said the investigation was a personal vendetta against her and Mr. Devlin by police witnesses " her sister and her sister's friend.

"I can guarantee you that the dogs were not abused," Ms. Voedisch said. "My boyfriend never killed the dog. I have a 5-year-old daughter. This whole thing is making me look like a bad person. This dog was not abused."

Just a few weeks before Tyson was hurt, police allege Mr. Devlin threw another pit bull puppy named Ched against a wall. The impact caused severe internal injuries to the dog.

Office Cardin said Ms. Voedisch took the puppies to Cummings School of Veterinary Medicine at Tufts University in Grafton for treatment.

Ched apparently suffered pulmonary edema and had fluid around his heart. Officer Cardin said that because of the extent of Ched's internal injuries, the dog was euthanized Sept. 5.

Ms. Voedisch said Ched had water in his lungs and additional medical treatment would have cost $3,000.

She said no autopsy was performed on the puppy. Officer Cardin said there was no investigation or charges filed at the time.

Mr. Devlin said he got Ched when the dog was 11 weeks old and it had a rare medical condition.

Rescue League officials began to investigate the death of Ched when Andrea Voedisch, who lives on the third floor of the 17 Vinson St. three-decker, and her friend, Katrina Richards, came forward with witness statements, Animal Rescue League officials said.

"They told me they got sick and tired of what was happening," Officer Cardin said. "They saw Chris pick up this dog, Ched, like a baseball and throw him into a wall. The dog was bleeding from the mouth."

Officer Cardin learned Mr. Devlin bought Ched three or four months before he bought Tyson for $200.

"Within a week, Ched was dead, and Tyson took over the bashing and the physical torment," Officer Cardin said.

According to witnesses, Tyson's back legs were fractured Sept. 22, Officer Cardin said, and his front leg was also injured. Mr. Devlin did not take the puppy to the hospital. Victoria Voedisch waited a week to take the puppy to Tufts, on Oct 1.

Officer Cardin said Ms. Voedisch used a different name when she brought Tyson to Tufts for treatment because she had outstanding bills. She was told the puppy needed surgery.

She told Tufts officials she could not afford the operation and took Tyson home in excruciating pain, according to Officer Cardin.

Her sister called the Worcester Animal Rescue League on Oct. 9 and told them the puppy was in a great deal of pain. Officer Cardin and a staff member got involved and took the dog away.

After doctors diagnosed Tyson with blunt force trauma, Officer Cardin said the investigation eventually led him to investigate the death of Ched.

The animal cruelty charges carry 2-1/2 years in prison and a $2,500 fine for each count.

Tyson is in good spirits and recovering nicely, according to Ms. LaPorte. She said authorities are monitoring his disposition because it is traumatic for a young dog to endure so much pain and surgery.

"He's actually doing quite well," Ms. LaPorte said. "He still thinks he's an uninjured little pit bull puppy."

Ms. LaPorte said his physical condition and disposition will continue to be monitored.

"For a young dog to be in so much pain and to have surgery, it's rough," Ms. LaPorte said. "We spoil him rotten."
Source: - Nov 15, 2008
Update posted on Apr 2, 2011 - 8:05PM 
Christopher A. Devlin, 23, of 17 Vinson St., Worcester, charged with two counts of cruelty to an animal and two counts of killing, maiming, or poisoning an animal, continued to Jan. 29 on $4,000 cash bail.
Source: - Jan 3, 2011
Update posted on Apr 2, 2011 - 7:34PM 


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