DeWitt Township man pleads guilty to animal abandonment after abused dog found in dumpster

Animal Control said that they attempted to treat the dog, but she had severe neurological damage and had to be euthanized.
Published: Dec. 19, 2022 at 3:51 PM EST|Updated: Dec. 19, 2022 at 5:46 PM EST
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LANSING, Mich. (WILX) - A DeWitt Township man accused of beating a dog with a hammer pleaded guilty to animal abandonment Thursday.

Original story: Abused dog found in Lansing dumpster, authorities seek culprit

According to authorities, the Ingham County Animal Control and Shelter was alerted in August to a small brindle and white dog that had been found in a kennel that was in a dumpster. The shelter said she had suffered severe blunt-force injuries to her head.

The shelter said Monday that they attempted to treat the dog, but she had severe neurological damage and had to be euthanized.

Following a plea on social media, Animal Control said they received information that lead to an investigation into a suspect named Cecil Richardson, who was also under investigation for animal neglect by Clinton County Animal Control.

Ingham County Animal Control said multiple witnesses told them Richardson reportedly beat the dog with a hammer in front of his children in their DeWitt Township apartment. Since it happened outside Ingham County, the DeWitt Township Police Department took over the investigation.

It is a felony in Michigan to intentionally kill or torture an animal or to commit an act knowing or having reason to know the act will cause an animal to be killed or tortured. Penalties for torturing or killing an animal can vary in severity in Michigan and can be impacted by many factors, including if the animal is a pet or a companion animal. Someone convicted of animal cruelty as a form of domestic violence can face up to 10 years in prison.

The shelter said a warrant was issued for Richardson for unlawfully torturing an animal, who pleaded not guilty. On Thursday, Richardson reportedly agreed to a plea deal with the Clinton County Prosecutor’s Office to misdemeanor animal abandonment.

“Given the severity and brutality of this crime, we are deeply disheartened to find that this case was plead to a misdemeanor charge,” Ingham County Animal Control wrote on social media. “However, we would like to thank the community for all of their support and a special thanks to the DeWitt Township Police Department for their efforts in this case.”

Richardson is expected to be sentenced Jan. 20, 2023.

Information about pets available for adoption can be found on the official Ingham County Animal Control website.

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