Case Snapshot
Case ID: 17614
Classification: Neglect / Abandonment
Animal: dog (non pit-bull)
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Wednesday, Dec 1, 2010

County: Providence

Charges: Misdemeanor
Disposition: Dismissed
Case Images: 4 files available

Person of Interest: Nicole Symonds

He was skin and bones when the 11-month-old lab mix was taken away from his owner in December.

He was almost dead.

"He was a virtual walking skeleton, he weighed twenty-two pounds, severely anemic," said Dr. E.J. Finocchio, of the Rhode Island Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals.

"Probably one of the most severely emaciated dogs I've seen," added RISPCA investigator, Joseph Warzycha.

Warzycha received a tip that "Icabod" was living, or barely hanging on, at a Grape Street apartment in Providence.

Once he was brought to the RISPCA, it was clear Icabod was eating anything he could find in the apartment.

Women's bra straps, clothes, all kinds of junk passed through his little stomach.

He also had a skin disease that caused patches of hair to fall off.

"Clear cut case of failure to provide food, care, and water to this animal," said Finocchio.

Icabod slowly recovered after two months at the RISPCA.

He's been adopted by a loving family in Swansea and put on some weight - topping the scales at more than 60 pounds.

Dr. Finocchio called what happened in Providence District Court Thursday an insult.

Icabod's former owner, Nicole Symonds, had to answer for what she did to her dog: one count of mistreating animals, and one count of unnecessary cruelty to animals.

A judge today dismissed the animal cruelty charges brought against Ichabod's original owner and ordered her to make a $50 donation to the RISPCA.

"It's basically open season for animal cruelty in the state of Rhode Island," Finocchio said.

Symonds didn't want to talk about the case when approached by NBC 10 at her apartment.

But those who help the animals had plenty to say.

"The penalty does not come close to the crime," Warzycha said.

"She didn't get a slap on the wrist, she got a pat on the wrist," added Finocchio.

Finocchio said current Rhode Island law holds people accountable for crimes against animals. He said these cases broke down when it arrived in court.


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