Man Faces Animal Cruelty Charge
Posted on Oct 2, 2007 - 4:03 PM
--------------------------------------------------------------Article published Sep 21, 2007
Man faces animal cruelty charge
BARRE – A Plainfield man faces up to a year in prison and a $1,000 fine if convicted of what police allege is a case of animal cruelty.
Forty-nine-year-old Christopher Miksic pleaded innocent in Vermont District Court Thursday to one misdemeanor charge. Police say Miksic left his two border collies locked in his truck for over an hour in the late-August sun in 83-degree heat with no water.
Miksic, who represented himself at his arraignment, told a reporter after the proceeding that the dogs were only left in the truck for a half-hour.
"I've always been a responsible animal-owner," Miksic said.
Miksic said he had met a co-worker at McGillicuddy's in Montpelier for a beer after work on Friday, Aug. 24, and that he only spent a half-hour in the bar before coming back out to his truck, which was parked on Elm Street.
While Miksic was at the bar, a concerned citizen reported to Montpelier Police that the dogs had been left in the truck for about an hour and a half.
"Upon opening the passenger side door, I was immediately hit with a burst of heat from the interior of the vehicle," wrote Montpelier Police Officer David Kachajian in his affidavit. "The feeling of the heat coming from the interior of the vehicle can be compared to when you open a closed oven door after it has been heating for a while."
Kachajian took one dog out of the truck and put it in his air-conditioned police cruiser; the other dog was too scared to get out of the truck, he said.
Police said Miksic arrived at his truck at approximately 5:37 p.m. and told police he had only been at the bar for 15 minutes. Kachajian told Miksic he had been with the dogs for at least a half-hour already.
Miksic told a reporter he had left the dogs in his truck at 4:50 and returned to them at 5:25, and that the dogs' panting and drooling was normal in such heat.
"I'm being charged with cruelty to animals and I feel I was not cruel to them at all," he added.
Police allowed Miksic to take the dogs with him after getting cited into court. At the arraignment Thursday, one condition of release is that Miksic not leave his dogs in a vehicle unattended for more than 15 minutes.
Contact Daphne Larkin at (802) 479-0191 ext.1171 or firstname.lastname@example.org.