Buffalo man gets 150 hours of community service, mental health evaluation for beating 8-week-old puppy

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Petey with his new foster family. Photo by Erie County SPCA.

BUFFALO – Erie County District Attorney John J. Flynn announces that 23-year-old Navier Rodriguez of Buffalo was sentenced this afternoon before Acting State Supreme Court Justice Debra Givens to a conditional discharge. As part of his sentence, Judge Givens imposed an order that prohibits the defendant from having custody or control of any animal for the next five years. Rodriguez also must abide by the following conditions:

  • Perform 150 hours of community service
  • Undergo a mental health evaluation
  • Complete a SPCA Animal Welfare course

On the morning of April 7, 2021, several witnesses reported that the defendant intentionally caused injuries to his 8-week-old puppy by hitting the dog with his closed fists and throwing the dog to the ground multiple times. The crime occurred on Porter Avenue near Front Park in the City of Buffalo.

The puppy was taken to the SPCA Serving Erie County to receive veterinary care for extensive injuries to its mouth, including cuts and broken teeth. The dog, now known as “Petey,” is living with a foster family.  

The defendant pleaded guilty 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) on October 29, 2021.

“My office will continue to hold animal abusers accountable for their actions. I want to thank the SPCA Serving Erie County for their assistance in this criminal investigation and for the many services they provide to animals in our community,” said Erie County DA John Flynn.

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.