MERIDEN — A former city man was sentenced to probation Thursday after pleading guilty to an animal cruelty charge.
Garret Calvo, 26, of 145 Murielle Dr., South Windsor, was originally charged with two counts of cruelty to animals. On Thursday, Calvo pleaded guilty to one count of animal cruelty and was sentenced to a one year suspended prison sentence and three years’ probation.
Conditions ordered on the probation include restitution for veterinary bills and anger management evaluation and treatment. Calvo is also prohibited from owning or possessing animals, must donate $20 a month for the length of his probation to a non-profit animal shelter, and was ordered to stay away from the dog and owner in the case.
On Dec. 11, 2017 Calvo’s landlord alerted authorities after the landlord’s Chihuahua puppy was found with a broken leg at his Camp Street residence. The landlord reviewed video from security cameras inside the home and saw Calvo, his tenant, grab the puppy aggressively by the neck, according to Sgt. Darrin McKay. The puppy was either thrown or fell from a couch, and was seen limping away.
While police were investigating the case involving the Chihuahua, a veterinarian reported that a previous dog from the same home, a 7-year-old female, was seen on Sept. 29, 2017 for severe inflammation to her eye, and bleeding, swelling and bruising. The veterinarian suspected the injuries were caused by blunt force. On Oct. 19, 2017 the landlord reported that the female dog was not well and had been lethargic, the report said. The owner brought the dog to the veterinarian, and the dog was dead on arrival.
On Dec. 12, 2017 animal control officer Bryan Kline interviewed Calvo about the 7-year-old dog. Calvo told Kline he was the one who “found (the dog) dead on the living room floor,” adding that the owners were not home at the time, the report said. Police exhumed the dog and conducted a postmortem CT scan, determining the dog had acute, traumatic rib fractures that occurred before death.
The landlord’s girlfriend, who also lives in the home, told police she had a conversation with Calvo on Dec. 13, 2017 about space in the home and an eviction process, the report said. The woman reported Calvo told her “You had better be careful, because what I did to your dogs is nothing compared to what I can do to you,” according to the report.