A Queens man has been charged with beating his puppy so severely that the dog “suffered excruciating pain” and had to be euthanized at just 10 weeks old, prosecutors said Tuesday.
According to the Queens District Attorney’s Office, Paul Verite, 50, of Forest Hills, was arraigned on animal cruelty and related charges for allegedly abusing the female Boston terrier, named Espy, on multiple occasions last fall.
“To see a trusting, defenseless creature brutalized the way this puppy was over the course of her short, tortured life makes you heartsick,” Queens District Attorney Melinda Katz said in a statement. “The defendant will be held to account for the violence he is alleged to have inflicted upon this poor animal.”
Verite brought Espy to Austin Veterinary Care and Blue Pearl Animal Hospital several times in September, October and November 2022, prosecutors said.
During those visits, the pooch was treated for injuries that her owner allegedly could not explain – including head trauma, a broken blood vessel in her eye and a torn toenail.
On Espy’s final medical visit, the vet began to treat her for a potential seizure, but she failed to respond to treatment, according to prosecutors.
The helpless animal was in such bad shape that she “could neither walk nor stand,” the DA’s office said.
The doctor referred Espy to Blue Pearl Animal Hospital, where the ailing pup arrived in critical condition.
Medical staff determined that Espy may not fully recover even if surgery is performed — and Verite then opted to euthanize the pooch, prosecutors said.
A forensic veterinarian conducted a necropsy, which revealed more details about the torment Espy was allegedly subjected to during her short life.
Twenty-one of the puppy’s 26 ribs were fractured, with more than half of them broken in more than one place, prosecutors said.
The broken ribs were in different stages of healing, indicating that the poor pup “had suffered multiple blunt force injuries prior to her death,” prosecutors said.
“These injuries caused Espy to experience excruciating pain before her death,” the DA’s office said.
Verite was arrested on Feb. 6 and initially slapped with a desk appearance ticket, court records show.
He appeared in court on Sunday before Judge John Zoll, who ordered him to return to court on April 24.
If convicted, he could spend up to two years behind bars.