Man accused of stabbing dogs; sister also charged

PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WPRI) — A Roslindale, Massachusetts man and his sister are both facing animal cruelty charges in connection with an incident that left one dog dead and two others severely injured.

Rhode Island State Police said 18-year-old Paul Thibeau and 26-year-old Julia McDougall turned themselves in Wednesday morning, following a joint investigation with the Rhode Island Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (RISPCA).

Both Thibeau and McDougall were arraigned at Providence District Court.

RISPCA spokesman Joe Warzycha said Thibeau was visiting McDougall at her home in Providence when their dogs got into a fight. While trying to break up the fight, Warzycha said Thibeau stabbed two of McDougall’s dogs.

According to Warzycha, both Thibeau and his sister waited more than seven hours before bringing the most severely injured dog to a veterinarian. That dog later died from its injuries. In addition, Warzycha said McDougall never sought veterinary care for her other two injured dogs.

Thibeau claimed he stabbed the dogs in self-defense, and Warzycha said the RISPCA does not dispute his argument.

The cruelty charges against the brother and sister were based on the fact that neither promptly sought veterinary care for the injured dogs, according to Warzycha.