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Westside animal cruelty suspect pleads guilty

Posted on Nov 18, 2008 - 11:39 AM
Westside animal cruelty suspect pleads guilty

Rutland Herald
By Dawson Raspuzzi
Herald Staff

Published: November 17, 2008

A West Rutland man was placed on probation Friday after pleading guilty
to charges of throwing a 14-week-old German shepherd.

Thomas D. Matteson, 38, was also ordered not to buy or own any animal
for the two years of his probation sentence and complete an anger
management program.

Matteson was arrested and charged with two counts of animal cruelty for
allegedly throwing the puppy, "Moonshine," in a Fair Haven house in
July, police said.

Fair Haven police responded to the residence on First Street where
Matteson allegedly picked up the dog and threw him 8 feet into the
kitchen and against the refrigerator after he urinated on the floor,
police said.

Witnesses told police Matteson then threw the dog out the back door
against a porch railing.

Police said another witness told them she watched Matteson pick the dog
up by the collar and throw him up the driveway the previous day.

Police said Matteson also threatened to shoot the dog if it were not
trained the way he wanted in two weeks.

In Rutland District Court Friday, Deputy State's Attorney Kathryn Smith
said Moonshine suffered a "lifelong injury as a result of the actions"
of Matteson.

The pup has been in the possession of the Rutland County Humane Society
since the court ordered he be turned over on Aug. 1.

Judge Thomas Zonay suggested in court Matteson be ordered to complete
some sort of community service at the Humane Society, although Smith
said the animal shelter did not want Matteson near the animals.

Although he wasn't ordered to do the community service, Zonay did have
some advice before he let Matteson leave the courtroom.

"When you take an animal, you're supposed to be responsible for it
this is just terrible, you should be ashamed for this," the judge said.

"You should hang your head I don't know how you can do this."

Matteson faced up to one year in prison and a $1,000 fine for each

Contact Dawson Raspuzzi at:

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