After a lengthy investigation by the Animal Rescue League of Berks County’s humane officers, the ARL will be filing animal cruelty charges against the last-known owner of Jack, the Jack Russell Terrier puppy the ARL picked up on January 3, 2019 from Berks Animal Emergency in Shillington (AES) following a report that he had been beaten by a group of teenagers in the parking lot of the Goodwill store in Shillington. According to our investigation and interviews with Jack’s last-known owner, Jack was not injured maliciously, but by accident when his leg became stuck in his crate. The owner did not want to take responsibility for his injuries or his medical care, so he instructed his friend to drop off the dog at AES and “make up a story.” His friend did so, and fabricated the story about teens kicking and beating the dog in the parking lot at Goodwill. The owner’s friend left the dog at AES, which is when the ARL was called to pick up the dog, determine his treatment and investigate the report that teens had beaten the dog.

“It’s unfortunate that AES, the ARL and the public were lied to about what happened with this dog,” said Tom Hubric, executive director. “We were just as outraged as everyone else that a group of teens would consider beating a poor, defenseless puppy–yet we are simultaneously relieved that our investigation concluded that this was an accident and not the result of teen mischief against an animal.” Hubric also noted that people who are in situations where they cannot afford, or do not wish to care for an injured pet, have a safe place to turn to at the ARL. “We are a community resource,” he says. “It’s easier on everyone—including the pet—if you come to us with the truth.”

The Cumru Township Police have received a report of investigation, and the ARL will be issuing the animal cruelty citation to the last-known owner of Jack on the basis of abandonment. Jack remains in good spirits and in good health in the care of a foster home, where he will likely be adopted once he is fully healed and medically cleared by the staff at the ARL.

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