A 24-year-old man from Whitinsville, Massachusetts was arrested after he allegedly buried an 18-year-old dog alive for not getting along with his new kitten.
According to Facebook user Kaylee Belanger, the 18-year-old shih tzu mix originally belonged to a man named Alex Dion who passed away about four years ago. The dog ended up in the custody of Rick Piquard after Dion’s passing. Piquard is the father of Dion’s nephew and niece.
Belanger claims that Piquard “for a very long time seemed to love and care for Chico. Until recently.”
As the dog, named Chico, became old and began to require more care, Piquard’s attitude allegedly changed. This month, Piquard purchased a young 7-week-old kitten and suddenly decided that he could no longer care for Chico.
Piquard called his ex and threatened that he would get Chico euthanized if she did not take the senior dog in. Belanger also claims that Piquard told her that he needed to get rid of Chico, this past Saturday.
On Sunday, Piquard texted Belanger that Chico passed away the last night. Suspicious, Belanger pressed for details and said on social media that Piquard told her Chico was no longer breathing when he woke up and that he buried the dog in a wooded area near his home.
Still sensing something amiss, Belanger persuaded Piquard to let her dig up Chico’s body and have him cremated but Piquard misled her and gave her the wrong directions. Belanger and her fiance kept up the search and made a shocking discovery:
“…while walking around my Fiancé heard a noise. He then noticed a small patch of fresh dirt under some brush from the woods. So we began digging with a stick only to hit a rock.
“Hesitantly, I continued to move the dirt when we noticed fur. We uncovered a portion of Chico’s head. Only to realize that the rock was on top of him. I lifted the rock and there he was. Took a step back to grab the blanket when my fiancé shouted. “He’s breathing!!”
“And he was. He was alive. While screaming and questioning how someone could do this I hurriedly removing him from the hole. He yelped in pain, dirt in every part of him. He felt flat like a pancake from the rock weighing him down in the hole.”
Belanger rushed Chico to emergency vet care and the dog eventually became responsive but the prognosis was not good: “He couldn’t move his head or get up due to what is suspected to be a dislocated disk in his neck. Chico was evaluated to be malnourished, dehydrated, in shock with hypothermia as well as anemia due to the infection of fleas on him. He had matted and stained fur. And he was clearly being neglected before being buried alive.
“In the end the decision was made to euthanize Chico and allow him to go home to Alex where he belonged. So surrounded by many people that loved him Chico was sent to heaven.”
Piquard was arrested but released on bail for $1,000 after he was charged with one count of animal cruelty.