‘He loved the dog’: Parents say Kingston man accused of killing pet was battling addiction

PLYMOUTH, Mass. — A Kingston man accused of stabbing his dog to death after trying to poison it with fentanyl appeared in Plymouth District Court Thursday afternoon.

44-year-old Jonathan E. Paluzzi pleaded not guilty to two counts of animal cruelty and one count of possession of a class A substance, fentanyl, according to Plymouth County District Attorney Timothy J. Cruz.

On Wednesday afternoon, Kingston Police say they responded to an apartment complex on Kingston Collection Way after a 911 caller reportedly heard signs of a struggle involving a person and a dog, followed by a statement similar to “don’t touch me,” followed by complete silence.

Arriving officers found a deceased 60-pound Bull-Terrier mix named Brutus in the apartment, according to law enforcement officials.

During a subsequent investigation, police say the dog’s owner, Paluzzi, had perpetrated the killing by attempting to poison the animal with drugs. When that was unsuccessful, Paluzzi allegedly stabbed Brutus to death before leaving the apartment.

Detectives reportedly collected evidence inside the apartment including fresh blood and a set of bent grill prongs.

Paluzzi, who allegedly had a cigarette pack on him containing an off-white powdery substance, was promptly arrested after walking back into the residence while police were still there.

Paluzzi’s parents, Paul and Janice, talked with Boston 25 News at the apartment where the dog was found dead.

In a highly emotional interview, they said their son’s drug addiction fueled his decision to end Brutus’ life.

“He’s been an addict 26 years,” Paul Paluzzi said of his son.

“He was bullied all through school and that’s what when he started with drugs,” Janice Pulizzi added.

They said Jonathan wanted to enter detox but he couldn’t take Brutus with him.

And when no veterinarian would agree to euthanize a healthy dog, they said Jonathan decided to do it himself.

“He loved the dog that wasn’t him that did that. He had taken the damned fentanyl and went into another realm,” Paul Paluzzi said.

After an evaluation by a mental health clinician on Thursday, the judge ordered Paluzzi to undergo a 20-day evaluation at Bridgewater State Hospital, according to the DA’s office. He will return to court on February 16.

“There are shelters out there that will take that dog, no questions asked. And if it is necessary, based off a veterinarian or some other professional’s decision that the dog needs to be put down for some reason, there’s a humane way to do it, to not cause pain to the dog,” said Detective Skowyra.

The MSPCA and other agencies have been contacted for assistance and are working with detectives to obtain the proper legal process authorizing additional investigatory steps such as a necropsy, and toxicology.

This is a developing story. Check back for updates as more information becomes available.

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