Five pit bull puppies are recovering after they were found on Wednesday, Aug. 30, 2017, with injuries, including four that had their throats cut, according to police in Mansfield, Ohio.
Photo: Humane Society of Richland County
Photo: Humane Society of Richland County

Puppies recovering after having throats slashed; man charged with animal cruelty

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Mansfield police officer arrested Christopher Vandenberg, 38, on a felony charge of animal cruelty, the Mansfield News Journal reported.

In an incident report obtained by the Richland Source, police said they were called on Wednesday to an apartment on 5th Street. A woman, identified as Vandenberg’s wife, told officers she had been away from home for two days and left five pit bull mix puppies with her husband in her absence.

When she returned home and let the dogs out of a bedroom, she told police she saw that four of the puppies were injured.

The Humane Society of Richland County, which was called to assist police on Wednesday, shared images of the puppies’ injuries in a Facebook post Thursday.

“We are all sick over it,” the Humane Society said in the post. “The good news is, the prognosis is good for these cuties and now the puppies can start a new chapter.”

The puppies are expected to be ready for adoption in several weeks, after they’ve recovered from their injuries and been properly vetted, officials said. The Humane Society started a GoFundMe campaign to raise funds for the puppies’ recoveries.

Humane Society executive director Missy Houghton told the News Journal that the attack on the pit bull mix puppies appeared to have been “an act of retaliation against Vandenberg’s wife.”

The Richland Source reported that the wife found text messages from her husband that “seemed to imply that her husband was ‘cutting the puppies’ throats, but it was described as ‘garbled.’”

Vandenberg was treated at a hospital after a reported suicide attempt on Wednesday, the News Journal reported, citing a police report. However, Vandenberg told officers that he was not trying to kill himself.

Vandenberg was booked into Richland County Jail on Wednesday. Jail records showed he remained jailed Monday.

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