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December 7, 2012

Man charged in animal cruelty case tied to heroin

GLOUCESTER, Mass. — Police have charged a 26-year-old man with killing and then slicing open a dog that had swallowed his drugs.

John “Jack” Dugan, who now faces animal cruelty charges, was arrested and bond was set at $25,000.

The pitbull’s body was discovered by another dog owner, who was out for a walk.

Police said that Dugan’s pitbill Xena had apparently swallowed unpackaged heroin that Dugan said he had left on a counter in his home, as well as a sealed bag of the narcotic. Officers believe that Dugan cut the pitbull open in order to retrieve the sealed bag of heroin, according to the police report.

Police found the dog’s entrails enclosed in a plastic bag, which officers retrieved from a nearby dumpster.

According to the police report, Dugan confirmed officers’ suspicion that the dog had overdosed on heroin and died after ingesting the narcotic. But Dugan’s excuse for slicing the dog was different. Dugan told police that after the dog died, the animal began to bloat with gas, so he cut the pitbull open in order to make her body easier to dispose of by releasing the gases, according to the report.

An animal hospital doctor told police, however, that bloating would have been unlikely, and called Dugan’s explanation of cutting the dog open to relieve bloating a “blatant lie.”

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Details for this story were provided by the Gloucester (Mass.) Daily Times.

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