Case Snapshot
Case ID: 16185
Classification: Mutilation/Torture, Neglect / Abandonment
Animal: dog (non pit-bull)
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Attorneys/Judges
Judge(s): Judge Michael A. Higgins


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Friday, Feb 5, 2010

County: Bristol

Charges: Misdemeanor
Disposition: Convicted
Case Images: 1 files available

Defendant/Suspect: Alan MacQuattie

Case Updates: 1 update(s) available

A Rhode Island man who says he couldn't afford veterinary care for his dog has been charged with illegally operating on the pet.

Alan MacQuattie recently removed a cyst from the leg of his 14-year-old Labrador mix. The dog was operated on again by professionals to deal with an infection from the first surgery.

E.J. Finocchio, president of the Rhode Island Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals, calls the surgery a "heinous crime."

Court records show MacQuattie pleaded no contest last week to misdemeanor charges of animal cruelty and unauthorized practice of veterinary medicine. He was allowed to keep the dog.

MacQuattie has not returned a call seeking comment Friday. But he tells WPRI-TV, which first reported the surgery, that he didn't think he had done anything wrong.


Case Updates

A Barrington man pleaded no contest to a charge of unnecessary cruelty to animals after he performed surgery on his 14-year-old Labrador-retriever mix.

Alan S. Macquattie, 63, of 102 Maple Ave., removed a small, benign cyst from the inner thigh of his dog using a sharp knife, a topical anesthetic and a prescription anesthetic called lidocaine, according to Dr. E.J. Finocchio, president of the Rhode Island Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals.

The wound was sutured with string and wrapped with duct tape.

“He admitted that he performed a surgical procedure on his dog,” Finocchio said Friday. “He had the cyst in a jar to show us.”

Macquattie, a Vietnam veteran, told Finocchio that he had fallen on hard times and couldn’t afford to take his dog, Nakita, to a veterinarian. Had he brought his Lab to a vet, however, he would have discovered that the cyst was benign and didn’t need to be removed, Finocchio said.

“This was a far cry from a life-threatening situation,” Finocchio said. “The animal was not in danger in any way. He was not suffering in any way. This cyst was not detrimental to the animal’s health.”

Macquattie could not be reached by phone Friday.

The RISPCA heard about the dog last month through a lab technician, who notified the authorities after meeting Macquattie’s dog. Macquattie was having blood-work done when he asked the lab technician if she had any gauze for his dog. When she asked to see the dog, she saw that the animal’s leg was wrapped in duct tape.

When Finocchio and John Duffy, the town’s animal control officer, went to see the dog, the wound was so badly infected that the animal was immediately taken to an animal hospital for surgery. While the case was awaiting resolution in court, the dog recuperated at the RISPCA.

On Jan. 29, 2010, Macquattie pleaded no contest in District Court, Providence, to one count of unnecessary cruelty to animals and one count of unauthorized practice of veterinary medicine. He also was ordered to pay $873 in restitution, which will be awarded to the RISPCA.

Judge Michael A. Higgins, acting chief judge of District Court, returned the dog to Macquattie and filed the case, which means that if Macquattie stays out of trouble for a year, the charges will be expunged from his record.

Finocchio expressed concern Friday about the owner’s ability to care for his dog. Although he doesn’t believe that Macquattie was intentionally cruel, he said that no person in his or her right mind would perform surgery on an animal.

“He proceeded when he shouldn’t have,” Finocchio said. “He did not ask for financial help, and he inflicted hard injury and pain to his animal. The owner is not convinced that what he did was wrong. He thinks that cruelty to animals is picking them up by the ears.”

Finocchio said he wished that the judge had authorized an organization like his to monitor the dog’s health over the next few months.

Finocchio said he wanted to get the word out that help is available for animal owners who don’t have the means to pay for emergency care.

“If he had called me, I probably would have told the guy, ‘Here’s $100. Get it taken care of properly.’ ”
Source: ProJo News - February 6, 2010
Update posted on Feb 6, 2010 - 10:37PM 

References

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