SPRINGFIELD, MA (WGGB/WSHM) -- Police are investigating a disturbing case of animal cruelty in Springfield. They said a tip from a good Samaritan led officers to arrest a man they said violently beat a dog this week.
Springfield Police said animal control officers were tipped off that a dog was beaten by a man in the area of Locust Street and Warrnier Avenue. They said that tip was confirmed when they checked nearby security footage and saw the whole incident had been caught on camera.
Wednesday morning, Springfield Police say they got a call from animal control. Someone had contacted them with a tip of possible animal abuse.
“Officers and detectives were able to go down there and gather some video from that area which showed what was going on,” said Springfield Police spokesperson Ryan Walsh.
What happened on Locust Street, police said, was a man caught on surveillance camera hitting a dog.
“Violently beating his dog with a leash, grabbing it by its neck, and kicked it once in the head,” Walsh added.
The suspect is 47-year-old Carlos Figueroa Jr., who police said they arrested on animal cruelty charges. He’s now out on $5,000 bail.
The dog is one year old Buddha, a pit bull type mix who is now in the care of Thomas J. O’Connor Animal Control and Adoption Center.
“When you take that kind of beating, you’re not gonna be too warm to people right away,” said Pam Peebles, executive director of the Thomas J. O’Connor Animal Control and Adoption Center.
We asked Peebles how buddha is doing physically. She explained, “While this color dog often can mask bruising because she’s so dark, we do not see any significant injuries or any injuries at all.”
Peebles told Western Mass News that she is working to get the dog surrendered to TJO’s care permanently, so Buddha can be adopted into another home when she is ready. However, in the meantime, both police and animal control said this is an example of someone seeing something and saying something and possibly saving a life.
“Without that tip, detectives would’ve never even known about this and who knows what could’ve happened to the dog in the future?” Walsh noted.
Peebles added, “You are our eyes and ears, so don’t hesitate to call.”
TJO said they frequently take anonymous calls if you are not comfortable using your name. That number is (413) 781-1484.