Pawtucket woman faces animal cruelty charge in case of abandoned puppy

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Dominique Scott was arrested on one charge of animal cruelty for allegedly leaving a puppy by the side of the road in North Attleborough. Courtesy photo
Axel, a 12-week-old Chihuahua puppy, was found by the side of the road. Courtesy photo

By Max Bowen-max.bowen@northstarreporter.com

Dominique Scott told police that the care of a Chihuahua puppy had overwhelmed her and led to the animal allegedly being left by the side of a road in North Attleborough.

Scott, 24, originally from Connecticut but now living in Pawtucket, R.I., was arrested on March 23 on one charge of animal cruelty. A plea of not guilty was entered on her behalf and she was ordered to not own any pets during the course of the proceedings.

According to police reports, a tip had come in identifying Scott as the person who had allegedly left the dog. A check of cell phone records placed her in the area at the estimated time. Police called Scott and asked her to come into the station, where she confessed to leaving the dog. The case was investigated by NAPD Officer Julie Lowe.

In speaking with police, Scott said she hadn’t understood how much care the animal needed and had been under stress. Scott added that she had tried to surrender the dog to the Pawtucket Animal Shelter, but that it had been closed the times she went there. At one point, she had taken the dog to Vitality Vet to seek medical care for the animal.

One day, while out with the dog, Scott told police it caused a mess in her vehicle, which had allegedly been the breaking point.

The puppy—a 12-week-old Applehead Chihuahua named Axel—was found by the side of Draper Avenue the afternoon of Feb. 26 in a blue pet carrier by a person walking their own dog. According to Scott, she left the dog around 6 p.m. on Feb. 24. The ground under the carrier was free of the snow that fell the previous Friday and there was snow and ice inside it.

Animal Control Officer Felicia Camara said that the puppy was malnourished and dehydrated, weighing only 1.4 pounds. Around 2-2.5 pounds is the healthy weight for the puppy, but added that Axel has gained weight since being found. The puppy had worms, a common ailment among newborns, as well as mange, an inflammatory disease in dogs caused by the Demodex mite. The mite is found on most dogs, but a healthy diet can prevent the inflammation.