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The 23-year-old boyfriend of a dog owner, who had been caring for the woman’s black and white Shih Tzu, has been charged with aggravated animal cruelty after the decomposing remains of the dog were found in a plastic bag in a parking lot – just blocks from their home.
According to the New York Daily News, Brando Henriquez had been left alone by his girlfriend in her Broad Channel residence on July 15 and asked to watch the family’s Shih Tzu, named Lavonia. When the girlfriend returned a half-hour later, however, Lavonia was gone; Henriquez told the woman the dog likely escaped.
For days, the family searched for their dog by plastering photos and posters of Lavonia all over the neighborhood. Family members discovered the dog’s decomposing remains in a white plastic bag just a few blocks from the family’s home. Surveillance video procured from several locations along the way, showed Henriquez carrying the white lumpy trash bag, and even one time crouching behind a garbage bin as someone walked by.
Last week, Henriquez allegedly told his mother the dog had defecated, and he had performed CPR on the dog in the bathtub. A necrospy concluded the dog had suffered four broken ribs as a result of blunt force trauma. In a statement, Queens District Attorney Richard Brown stated:
“The defendant is accused of aggravated cruelty in animals for brutally killing a small helpless dog and heartlessly offering false hope to his girlfriend and family by making them think that the dog had just run away. For the next four days she and family members searched the area and put up missing dog posters in the belief that they would find the dog alive, sadly, only to find t he dot’s remains where the defendant allegedly disposed of them.”
If found guilty, Henriquez could spend the next two years in prison.
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