PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WPRI) — A North Providence man accused of abandoning a malnourished dog entered a not guilty plea Thursday.
Brian Kenney, 47, was arrested earlier this month after turning himself in to police. Officials said the dog, named Moses, was found severely malnourished in a PetSmart parking lot in Johnston.
Moses was taken to the RISPCA in East Providence in critical condition. Employees cared for him and tested him for organ disease – but he ultimately had to be euthanized because his condition was too severe.
A representative of the RISPCA said Moses was abandoned on or around August 7.
Police said Kenney first told officers he found the dog emaciated in the parking lot – but his story was later determined to be fabricated.
According to police, Kenney said he couldn’t afford to care for the dog. Officials said he is now charged with cruelty to animals.
Investigators said they went to his home in search of other malnourished animals, but two smaller dogs found in the home appeared to be healthy.
His bail was set at $1,000 Thursday and he is scheduled to appear in court again in October.
Meanwhile, Rep. William O’Brien (D-Dist. 54, North Providence) says he is planning to submit legislation that would toughen the penalties for animal abusers.
“I saw the pictures of Moses in the news and it just broke my heart,” said O’Brien. “It takes an especially cold and cruel type of human being to do that to a defenseless animal and I hope my legislation can not only deter future attacks but also bring some sort of justice to those animals who are victims of needless and abhorrent abuse.”
O’Brien’s legislation would increase the punishment for animal cruelty from two years to five years of possible incarceration and from 10 hours of community service to a possible 100 hours.