Boston, MA - A 24-year-old man from Northbridge, Massachusetts, was arrested this week after officials claimed he buried his own dog alive.

On Sunday afternoon, Northbridge Police Department reported receiving a call from Kaylee Belanger regarding the matter. Belanger had found the dog buried alive shortly before she phoned the police. Supposedly, the woman knew the owner of the dog.

According to officials, Belanger stated that she had received a text message from the suspect in question on Sunday. The 24-year-old dog owner, Richard Piquard, stated in the message that his dog, Chico, had passed away the night before. Once
Belanger read the text message, she questioned how the dog could have passed away.

When asked about the matter, Belanger stated that Piquard had been taking care of the 18-year-old Shih Tzu for quite some time. However, Piquard had recently adopted a kitten, and supposedly the kitten and the Shih Tzu did not get along.

After being asked again about the incident, Belanger stated that she thought something was off all along; it was highly unlikely that the dog passed away that quickly without any notice of sickness or other problems.

Belanger wanted to find out the truth. She started to walk around the areas of Piquard’s home and came to find a pile of fresh dirt in his backyard. Belanger and her fiancée dug up the rocks and surrounding dirt and found the Shih Tzu laying there terrified. She immediately wrapped him in a blanket and got him away from the horrid scene.

By some miracle, the dog was still alive after the traumatizing events of the night. He was suffering from many internal injuries, along with severe dehydration, when Belanger brought him to the vet. After being diagnosed, the vet stated that the dog needed to be put to sleep. Luckily, they were able to be with the dog while he was laid to rest.

Police officers arrested Piquard after investigating the situation. He was charged with one count of animal cruelty. Piquard was released on a $1,000 bail and is due in court on Tuesday, September 11, 2018.