Westport couple arrested for animal cruelty

WESTPORT, MASS. (WHDH) - Westport police have arrested the owners of a dog who was found in severe condition in the area of Sanford Road and Milk Avenue.

Westport Animal Control responded to a call from a resident who reported seeing the dog in distress on June 5. When they arrived to the area, Animal Control and Westport police found the dog severely matted and soaked in urine.

The Animal Rescue League of Boston was called to investigate the incident. The severely matted dog had no collar, markings or identification.

ARL technicians determined the dog to be an 8-year-old female Brussels Griffin.

The dog, who was named “Jersey” by ARL staff, is in severe condition and underwent enucleation surgery, rendering her permanently blind.

Jersey will also have bladder stones removed and significant dental treatment performed.

The Animal Rescue League said her medical treatments will cost from $3,000-$4,000.

On June 10, the ARL received an anonymous tip that the dog was named Bella and belonged to a family on Sanford Road.

The tipster also said the family had three Dachshunds that were in poor health.

Investigators then spoke with Thomas Burke, 42, who allowed detectives to search the home.

The ARL brought the other dogs to a local veterinarian.

Burke and his wife Kelly, 43, were interviewed at the police stationed and admitted to being Bella’s owner.

Thomas Burke turned himself in to police.

Kelly Burke was arrested at her home.

Both were charged with animal cruelty by custodian.


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