2015-10-28 / Front Page

Queens Man Charged With Depraved Animal Cruelty

By Liz Goff
A 25-year-old Queens man found himself behind bars on October 12 after admitting he intentionally starved and neglected his Boxer pup, then posed as an animal rescuer so he could dump the dog in a shelter, authorities said.

Queens District Attorney Richard Brown said Anthony Esteves lied to police and animal rescuers when he said he found the emaciated pup in a field in Ridgewood on October 13.

Brown said the gentle dog, named “Brewster” by rescuers, weighed only 25 pounds when Esteves dropped him off earlier this month at the city Animal Care & Control Center in Rego Park. Doctors treating Brewster said the “very gentle, very loving” pup should weigh about 60 pounds.

Detectives at the NYPD Cruelty Investigation Squad were prompted to launch a probe into Esteves’ story after he gave police several different versions of how he found the pup, gave a false address and said other people owned the dog, Brown said.

Esteves finally admitted he owned the dog and that he concocted the stories because he didn’t want the pup “to die in his bedroom,” Brown said.

Investigators who searched Esteves’ apartment said there was no evidence that dog food had ever been kept in the home. Cops said Esteves was using an empty dog food dish to store some personal items, Brown said.

“The defendant is accused of showing a complete disregard for the well-being of this animal when he failed to provide the basic necessities required to maintain the animal’s health,” Brown said.

The gravely ill dog is being cared for at the Animal Care & Control Center. A spokesperson for the Adopt a Boxer Rescue group said the non-profit organization would be “happy” to take in the pup and find him a home as soon as has recovered.

Esteves was charged with felony animal cruelty charges including aggravated cruelty to animals at his arraignment at Queens Criminal Court.

“Somebody should take this guy and starve him, make him suffer the way he made this poor, defenseless dog suffer,” a law enforcement source said. “Starving is too good for this animal.”

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