Case Snapshot
Case ID: 9760
Classification: Neglect / Abandonment
Animal: dog (non pit-bull)
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Tuesday, Oct 10, 2006

County: Hartford

Charges: Misdemeanor
Disposition: Convicted

» Marlene L. Rivas - Alleged
» Marlene S. Diaz

Case Updates: 1 update(s) available

A mother and daughter who police say neglected their dog to the point it couldn't stand and had to be euthanized have been charged with cruelty to animals.

Marlene L. Rivas, 56, and Marlene S. Diaz, 23, both of 65 Cooper St., were also charged with failure to vaccinate the dog for rabies and failure to obtain a license for the dog, a female Chihuahua-terrier crossbreed named Princess.

Rivas was arrested Oct 10; Diaz was arrested Oct 11.

According to an arrest warrant made available Wednesday, police received a call from an anonymous Connecticut Natural Gas employee about an emaciated dog at the Cooper Street house.

Animal Control Officer Elease McConnell and a police officer found the dog in a dark basement on a leash about 3 feet long. The dog was dehydrated and had protruding bones, discharge indicative of eye infections, plus ear mites, McConnell's report states. Her gums were pale white or yellow instead of pink. Princess weighed about a third of what a 10-year-old Chihuahua should weigh, a veterinarian told McConnell. Her tail was missing fur and had scrape marks on it.

Police took 14 photos of the dog, which could barely lift its head.

"These pictures could make any human being cringe," Judge Raymond Norko told Diaz in Superior Court in Manchester on Wednesday. He read from the warrant for her arrest and said, "When we treat our animals like that, what are we going to do to humans?"

He told Diaz to put the pictures on her refrigerator when she posts bail "to remind you of your inhumanity."

He set Diaz's bail at $10,000, which she later posted. Her next court date is Nov. 22.

Rivas posted $10,000 bail at the police station and is scheduled to appear in court Oct. 23. Neither woman could be reached for comment Wednesday evening.

McConnell's arrest warrant application states that the dog had a cushion and what appeared to be fresh food and water. In a phone interview, McConnell said, "It was apparent the dog had not been eating. Whether it was provided food is up for debate."

"The dog has been through a lot," she said. "Usually the most humane thing to do at that point is to put it to sleep."

Case Updates

A local woman was put on probation for two years Tuesday after she admitted to keeping a sick dog tied up and in inhumane conditions in a dark basement.

Marlene S. Diaz, 24, of Cooper Street, pled guilty in Superior Court to animal cruelty in front of Judge Bradford Ward.

Ward sentenced Diaz to two years' probation, with a year to serve in prison if she violates that probation.

Ward also told Diaz she is not to own any pets and must do 50 hours of community service during her probation.

According to the police report, an anonymous Connecticut Natural Gas employee called police about an emaciated dog in the basement of Diaz's home.

The local animal control officer found a 10-year-old Chihuahua-terrier mix named "Princess" in the dark basement of the home tied up by a 3-foot leash, the report said.

Princess was unable to stand on her own, had protruding bones, ear mites, and discharges from her eyes indicative of canine eye infections, according to the report.

The dog's gums were also pale white or yellow, as opposed to a normal healthy pink, the report said.

The report also said that the dog was so dehydrated her lips were stuck to her teeth and gums.

Princess weighed approximately a third of her normal weight, according to the report, and was in such poor health she had to be euthanized.

Diaz's mother, Marlene L. Rivas, is also being held responsible for the condition of the dog.

Rivas is due to appear in Manchester Superior Court on Oct. 2.
Source: Journal-Inquirer - Sept 14, 2007
Update posted on Sep 14, 2007 - 1:25PM 


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