Case Snapshot
Case ID: 15454
Classification: Neglect / Abandonment, Beating
Animal: dog (non pit-bull)
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Saturday, Apr 25, 2009

County: Cascade

Charges: Misdemeanor
Disposition: Alleged

Abuser names unreleased

Animal control officers have charged a Great Falls man with abandoning a puppy in a Dumpster last weekend.

A woman found the 3-week-old Border collie in a southside Dumpster on Saturday while she was taking out her garbage. The puppy was inside a sealed garbage bag lying in vomit and near death, police said.

After local media reported the incident, community tips led police to Anthony LaMere, 42. LaMere was cited Thursday [April 30, 2009] with two misdemeanor counts of animal cruelty. One count charges LaMere with injuring the puppy and the second count alleges he confined the puppy in a cruel manner, said Great Falls Police Lieutenant Bryan Lockerby.

City staff have named the puppy Piper.

A veterinarian examined the puppy and said Piper suffered brain trauma and bruising. But Piper is recovering, and will be available for adoption in about four weeks, Lockerby said.

Officers initially focused their investigation on a man and a woman who had taken the sick puppy to the Great Falls Animal Shelter on Friday evening, where staff told the couple the shelter wasn't equipped to care for it.

The two took the dog to a veterinarian later in the evening to ask about the cost to treat the dog, but left without getting treatment, according to police.

Lockerby said the couple then went to LaMere's residence and left the puppy there for a short time. By the time they returned, the puppy was gone.

The couple is not facing charges, and police don't believe they had anything to do with abusing the puppy or putting it in the Dumpster, Lockerby said.

"It looks like they tried to do the right thing," he said.

Lockerby said animal shelter staff and the veterinarian couldn't have guessed the puppy would be in the garbage that night.

"I think the vet and the shelter were working with very limited and guarded information," he said.

He advised anyone who has a sick or injured animal but is unable to pay for care to make that situation clear.

"I think if there was a clear explanation of the circumstances involved, people in animal control and vets would do as much as they possibly could for the animal," he said.

The charges against LaMere came on the last day of April, which is Prevention of Cruelty to Animals month.

He is expected to appear in municipal court next week.


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