Case Snapshot
Case ID: 18403
Classification: Neglect / Abandonment
Animal: dog (non pit-bull)
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Drugs or alcohol involved
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Monday, Aug 8, 2011

County: Chittenden

Charges: Misdemeanor
Disposition: Alleged

Alleged: Scott C. Webster

Milton Police charged a man with two counts of animal cruelty for leaving his two dogs in despicable conditions, Det. Cpl. Paul Locke said Tuesday.

Scott C. Webster, 31, of 88 River Street in Milton was charged Monday, Aug. 8 with the crime, police said.

The dogs were found after Officer Thomas DuPont arrived at Webster's home to ask him about an unrelated incident. Webster was not home, but DuPont saw malnourished-looking dogs inside the home and obtained a search warrant, Locke said.

Officers executed the search last Wednesday, Aug. 3 and found the house was uninhabitable: Mold covered the walls, and the dogs' feces and vomit was all over the floor. Officers, wearing ventilation masks, found the dogs had eaten insulation and plant fertilizer and slept on a pile of rotten clothes, police said.

Police didn't find dog food or water but located a marijuana plant growing in the closet with the help of lights and a fan, they said.

"[Webster] took care of his marijuana plant more than his dogs," Locke said, sarcastically adding, "Priorities."

The dogs, a Husky-mix and hound-mix, were treated at Milton Veterinary Hospital and released by Webster to the Chittenden County Humane Society, police said.
"It's horrible. These animals can't fend for themselves," Locke said. "They rely on their owners to take care of them and feed them. It's a big crime."

Still, the cruelty charge only carries a misdemeanor penalty if convicted - imprisonment for up to one year and/or a fine of not more than $2,000. The possession charge calls for up to six months' jail time and/or a fine of not more than $500, Locke said.

Webster will be arraigned at Chittenden County Superior Court - Criminal Division on September 19.

Locke encouraged anyone who notices signs of animal cruelty to notify Milton Police.


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