Buffalo Man Pleads Guilty to Animal Cruelty Charge for Beating Puppy Near Front Park

Modified: October 29, 2021 2:37pm

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10/29/2021

Erie County District Attorney John J. Flynn announces that 23-year-old Navier Rodriguez of Buffalo pleaded guilty yesterday afternoon before Acting State Supreme Court Justice Debra Givens to one count of Overdriving, Torturing, and Injuring Animals; Failure to Provide Proper Sustenance (Class “A” misdemeanor under New York State Agriculture and Markets Law).

The defendant admitted to intentionally hitting his 8-week-old puppy and throwing the dog to the ground multiple times on the morning of April 7, 2021. The incident, witnessed by multiple people, occurred on Porter Avenue near Front Park in the City of Buffalo.

The puppy suffered extensive injuries to its mouth, including cuts and broken teeth. He was taken to the SPCA Serving Erie County where he received veterinary care for the injuries. The dog, now known as “Petey,” is being cared for by his foster family.

Rodriguez faces a maximum of one year in jail when he is sentenced on Tuesday, January 25, 2022 at 9:30 a.m. He remains released on his own recognizance as the charge is non-qualifying for bail.

An order, signed by Justice Givens, remains in place that prohibits the defendant from owning any animals during the pendency of this case.

“This defendant savagely beat a defenseless puppy near a city park. My office’s Animal Cruelty Unit will continue to prosecute these cases and hold any animal abusers accountable for their actions. I want to thank the SPCA Serving Erie County for their assistance in these criminal investigations and for the many services they provide to help these animals,” said Erie County DA John Flynn.

“This case was a perfect example of law enforcement agencies and the District Attorney’s Office collaborating to move forward a case of animal cruelty and, in the end, get a conviction . Fortunately, there was a happy ending, Petey is doing well and being spoiled in a loving home," said SPCA Interim President/CEO Beth Shapiro.

DA Flynn commends Officer Lindsey Wood of the SPCA Serving Erie County, Buffalo Police Department, City of Buffalo Dog Control, and the United States Border Patrol for their work in the investigation.

The case was prosecuted by Assistant District Attorney Megan E. Mahoney of the Animal Cruelty Unit.