GloucesterTimes.com, Gloucester, MA

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December 21, 2012

Man charged with breaking dog's leg

GLOUCESTER — A 30-year-old Gloucester man is facing a felony charge of animal cruelty after he allegedly beat a dog, fracturing the animal’s leg last Wednesday in a fit of rage because the dog had reportedly chewed the man’s belongings and urinated in the apartment.

Marc D. Appleton of Langsford Street was arrested Thursday after one witness told police Appleton had admitted to hitting the Beagle mix, named Buddy, and three other witnesses told police they had heard bangs and crashes followed by a dog “whimpering” and “screeching,” according to the police report.

“(The witness) said the thumps in the house were immediately followed by Buddy screeching, crying in pain,” police said.

The incident comes weeks after another man, 26-year-old John “Jack” Dugan of Prospect Street, was arrested for killing and gutting his pet pitbull, Xena, after that dog had ingested his heroin.

Dugan remains in jail facing charges too of animal cruelty. A second dog found at Dugan’s home was seized at the time of his arrest and has been adopted by a new owner, police said.

In the new case, Appleton, in his second interview with police, confessed that he had come home from work, seen the damage created by Buddy, then kicked Buddy while wearing a construction boot, police said Thursday night.

Buddy’s owner had told police that he was working on the day of the incident, selling Christmas trees on Essex Avenue, when Appleton arrived with Buddy, Buddy’s back leg swelling. Appleton told Buddy’s owner that Buddy had been struck by a vehicle, but vowed to take out a loan to pay the animal hospital bill.

Both men rushed Buddy to the Woburn Animal Hospital, where Buddy received emergency surgery at a cost of $4,900, according to police.

Appleton is being held on $7,500 cash bail and will be arraigned today in Gloucester District Court.

Buddy’s leg is healing, and the dog is highly medicated and in the custody of his owner, police said.

Appleton had his own dog, but after his arrest, that dog a was given to his Gloucester sister.

Marjorie Nesin can be reached at 978-283-7000, x3451, or at mnesin@gloucestertimes.com.

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