A 24-year-old man from Whitinsville, Massachusetts ,was arrested after allegedly burying his 18-year-old dog alive because it did not get along with his cat.
Richard Piquard buried his Shit Tzu named Chico in his backyard, Fox News reports.
Piquard was caring for the dog for 18 months after his ex-girlfriend was not able to keep the dog in her new apartment. Piquard reportedly asked her to take the dog repeatedly. He texted her on Sunday morning informing her that he buried the dog.
"Even in my 41 years here, I’ve never seen anything like it," Northbridge Police Chief Walter Warchol told Telegram & Gazette. "We’ve seen other forms of animal cruelty. Burying something alive is a little beyond the reach."
Kaylee Belanger, the woman who found the dog, detailed what happened in a Facebook post. She explained that Chico was in the care of a man named Alex for more than ten years, but after Alex died, the dog was given to the father of Alex’s niece and nephew, Rick Piquard. She claimed that Piquard “for a very long time seemed to love and care for Chico. Until recently. Chico has become old and requires a bit more care than he did in the past. But nothing that would cause inconvenience.”
She goes on to explain that Piquard brought home a 7-week-old kitten and decided that “he no longer could care for Chico.” Belanger said that Piquard attempted to reach out to his ex-girlfriend to take the dog, warning that the dog would be euthanized if she didn’t take him.
“So his ex let him know that she could potentially take him in a few weeks if he could wait,” she wrote. “And he fought with her mother about it and was nasty through some text messages to her. Then he reached out to me to show off his new kitten.”
Belanger said Piquard told her that he needed to get rid of Chico and then she said she received a text from Piquard telling her Chico had passed away.
“Obviously suspicious given the conversation the night before I began asking what happened,” she wrote. “To which he called and explained that when he woke up early this morning that Chico was no longer breathing.”
Belanger says that she convinced him to let her dig up the body while he wasn’t home to have Chico cremated.
While searching the back yard for Chico’s body, Belanger said her fiance heard a noise and began to dig up a spot with fresh dirt that they found. “So we began digging with a stick only to hit a rock,” she wrote. “Hesitantly, I continued to move the dirt when we noticed fur. We uncovered a portion of Chico’s head. Only to realize that the rock was on top of him.”
Belanger said she lifted the rock and discovered that Chico was breathing.
“While screaming and questioning how someone could do this I [was] hurriedly removing him from the hole,” she wrote. “He yelped in pain, dirt in every part of him. He felt flat like a pancake from the rock weighing him down in the hole.”
Chico was taken to an animal hospital and Belanger said he was “malnourished, dehydrated, in shock with hypothermia as well as anemia due to the infection of fleas on him.” Chico also was unable to move his head or get up. Belanger said "he was clearly being neglected before being buried alive."
The decision was made to euthanize Chico.
"It was recommended to do so due to the quality of life he would have if we attempted the surgeries," Belanger told The Daily Wire.
Piquard was released on bail for $1,000 and was charged with one count of animal cruelty.