Last Friday, September 11, ASPCA Special Agent Paul Lai arrested New Yorker Donnell Walters for allegedly beating his boyfriend’s dog, a 4½-pound Yorkshire Terrier named Lucy. Lucy’s owner alleges that in late July, a verbal dispute triggered Walters, 22, to assault the tiny canine. He is accused of repeatedly slamming or dropping Lucy to the ground, shattering one of her legs.
When ASPCA Humane Law Enforcement (HLE) began its investigation, Agent Lai had trouble finding Walters. He cleverly used a variety of tools, including Facebook, the popular social networking website, to locate the suspect. Friday’s arrest was made at Walters’ Manhattan workplace; he has been charged with one count of aggravated animal cruelty, which carries a penalty of up to two years in jail.
“Lucy was the innocent victim of a domestic dispute,” says Stacy Wolf, ASPCA HLE Vice President & Chief Legal Counsel. “As unfortunate as these kinds of incidents are, it is good to know that the criminal justice system is treating them with the seriousness that these crimes deserve.”
After the incident, Lucy’s owner phoned the ASPCA to report the dog’s injuries. He then brought her to the ASPCA’s Bergh Memorial Animal Hospital, where her broken leg was operated on and repaired using screws and a metal plate. Lucy was returned to her owner and is recovering well from her ordeal.
If you know of an animal who is being hurt, please report it—those who intentionally hurt animals may move on to abuse the people in their lives. To report animal cruelty in New York City, call the ASPCA’s tip line at (877) THE-ASPCA. Visit our Report Cruelty FAQ to learn how to report cruelty elsewhere.