3 arrested in Central Falls animal cruelty case

Treasure (left) and the three people charged with neglecting her - Juan Gonzalez (top) Ciara Pabon (middle) and Jomar Gonzalez. (Photos: RISPCA/Central Falls PD)

CENTRAL FALLS, R.I. (WPRI) – Police have arrested three individuals in connection with the abuse of a neglected dog found on the streets of Central Falls, according to the Rhode Island Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (RISPCA).

Ciara Pabon, 22, along with her boyfriend Jomar Gonzalez, 22, and his father Juan Gonzalez, 44, admitted to owning the dog and being aware of her poor condition, police said Wednesday.

The small dog named “Treasure”  was found Saturday wandering in a yard on Blackstone Street. The RISPCA said she had large tumors, decaying teeth and matted fur. Pabon called police, saying there was a dog in the yard which appeared neglected. Police say when officers arrived, she denied knowing who owned the dog or where it might have come from.

The city’s animal control division began an investigation along with members of the detective bureau to locate the owner or persons responsible for the dog’s condition. Police say they received information that the dog belonged to the same residence where she was found.

“It was a true community effort between the RISPCA, Central Falls Animal Control, Central Falls Police, and Friends of Homeless Animals of RI to find and hold accountable the individuals in question,” Joe Warzycha, an animal cruelty investigator at the RISPCA, said in a news release. “Now it will be up to the justice system of Rhode Island to make sure they are held accountable.”

None of the suspects offered an explanation as to why the dog was in that condition and why no one took care of it, according to police. All three were charged with cruelty to animals, while Jomar Gonzalez and Pabon were also charged with obstructing an officer in execution of duty and conspiracy.

The suspects were arraigned in court Wednesday. Juan Gonzalez pleaded guilty and was given an 11-month sentence with 90 days to serve in prison and was ordered to forfeit ownership of any animals.

Pabon and Jomar Gonzalez pleaded not guilty and were released on personal recognizance and also forfeited ownership of any animals, police said.

Treasure is currently staying with Friends of Homeless Animals and is being looked after by a veterinarian.