Two men face animal cruelty charges after 25 dogs found living in squalor
SMITHFIELD, R.I. (WPRI) — Two men who were arrested after more than two dozen dogs were removed from a Smithfield home are set to face a judge on animal cruelty charges.
On Tuesday, Smithfield police issued a search warrant for a home on Pleasant View Avenue after a delivery person made a complaint to the Rhode Island Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (RISPCA). As a result of the investigation, 25 French bulldogs, four of them pregnant, were seized. Officials say they were found living in deplorable conditions.Investigators also seized hundreds of rats, snakes and other reptiles living in the basement and a shed on the property.
Michael Williams, 34, and Michael “Noel” Ramos, 35, were taken in custody, each on 25 counts of unnecessary cruelty to animals and conspiracy. Earl Newman, RISPCA’s humane law enforcement officer, said Williams also faces a charge of unlawful manufacture of marijuana.
Warzycha said the bulldogs were being bred illegally and were kept in cages covered in their own feces and urine.
“A lot of them did appear to have some respiratory distress,” Warzycha said. “I don’t know if that’s just by nature of the nature of the breed, the stress of whats going on, probably, in addition to the poor air quality and the living conditions.”
Williams and Ramos are set to face a judge on Thursday. Warzycha said this isn’t the first time Williams has been in trouble with the law. In 2017 he was arrested on 11 counts of animal cruelty.
“They did remove I believe about 30 dogs last year from the same person,” Warzycha said.
The judge in that case didn’t order Williams to not have possession of animals, and Warzycha said some of the dogs seized Tuesday were the same dogs that were removed