2015-12-23 / Front Page

Ridgewood Man Confesses To Starving Dog

By Liz Goff
A 25-year-old Ridgewood man last week pleaded guilty to depraved animal abuse charges, admitting he intentionally starved and neglected his Boxer pup, then posed as an animal rescuer so he could dump the dog in a shelter, Queens District Attorney Richard Brown said

“A dog may be man’s best friend, but in this case the defendant proved to be Brewster’s worst enemy, “Brown said. “When the defendant brought Brewster to the shelter, the animal was emaciated, severely malnourished and did not have the energy to walk.”

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 have weighed about 60 pounds when he was left at the shelter.

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 was 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 was cared for at the Animal Care & Control Center, and is currently being fostered by the Adopt a Boxer Rescue group. A spokesperson said the non-profit organization is “happy” to take in the pup and would find him a home “with people who will really love him.”

Brewster paid a recent visit to Brown in the District Attorney’s Kew Gardens office where, with one wag of his tail he stole the hearts of staffers, a DA spokesperson said.

Estevez may have avoided jail time, but as part of his sentencing he is required to register with the city Department of Health as an animal abuser, is prohibited from owning a pet for a period of three years, and has earned the wrath of animal lovers throughout the city.

“To say this guy got off easy is an understatement,” a law enforcement source said. “He should be monitored to make sure he never gets another pet and should have to wear a sign saying he wanted his dog dead,” the source said. “Then, somebody should take this guy and starve him, make him suffer the way he made this poor, defenseless dog suffer,”


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