BRADFORD COUNTY (WBRE/WYOU) — In Bradford County, a small puppy is healing from horrific wounds police say he suffered at the hands of his once-owner.
The owner is now being charged with animal cruelty. The puppy is being cared for by the Bradford County Humane Society. He’s now safe from a terrible situation all because a neighbor spoke up.
“I heard a puppy squealing very loudly and I turned and looked over to the neighbor’s house and saw this gentleman actually take the dog by the back of its harness, swing it up in the air and literally swing it around his head several times,” neighbor Patty Hammond said.
When Hammond saw her neighbor in Milan allegedly abusing a puppy, she immediately called police.
“I have to report it I can’t… That is just pure animal cruelty. I can’t do that. I have to report it,” Hammond said.
She says Pennsylvania State Police responded right away. Police say the puppy’s owner, Richard Armitage, cut off his tail with a knife several weeks ago.
The wound did not properly heal. Police charged Armitage with animal cruelty and brought the 12-week-old puppy to the Bradford County Humane Society.
Executive Director of the Humane Society, Maryanne Bell, says the puppy’s name is Ryder and he is recovering well, but his tail was in bad shape when police brought him in. He will have surgery on Monday.
“Our vet described it as, if somebody took one of your fingers and cut it off. He must have been in a lot of pain. He probably still is,” Bell said.
Bell says Ryder came into the shelter just in time. She says if the alleged abuse continued, he would become aggressive.
“I think he was in a situation where he probably wouldn’t have been all that happy for long, he probably wouldn’t have been a friendly puppy for long,” Bell said.
Now, Ryder is still a sweet dog and will be able to find a loving home. Hammond says she hopes others will have the courage to report animal abuse or neglect if they see it.
“It’s really important that you do report it. I know a lot of people are afraid to do that, but animals, they can’t speak for themselves. They can’t tell us where they hurt, they can’t tell us why they hurt so it’s very very important that we all do that, and I’m glad I did it,” Hammond said.
Ryder’s surgery will be a large expense for the Humane Society. People who are interested in helping out can send donations to PO BOX 174 Ulster, PA 18850 or through PayPal by searching Bradford County Humane Society.
Ryder will stay with a foster family while his case is investigated. Ryder’s former owner, Armitage, has been charged with animal cruelty for allegedly causing the injuries.
State police say the injuries happened several weeks ago and that Armitage gave the dog Tylenol. He was arraigned in district court and faces additional charges.