Northbridge man charged after dog found buried alive

NORTHBRIDGE, Mass. — A 24-year-old man has been arrested after police say he buried a dog alive.

On Sunday afternoon, Northbridge Police received a call from a woman who said she just found a dog buried alive. That woman, Kaylee Belanger, spoke with Boston 25 News Monday afternoon and said she knows the suspect.

Belanger said she got a text message from the suspect, 24-year-old Richard Piquard of Whitinsville, on Sunday.

"I got a message from him that Chico passed away last night. I said, what do you mean he passed away? How is that possible?" said Belanger.

She says that Piquard had been caring for the 18-year-old Shih Tzu for some time, but that Chico and Piquard's new kitten weren't getting along.

"Something in my gut was telling me something was wrong, that he just wasn't telling me the truth," said Belanger.

His concerning text message led Belanger to the woods behind his home where she found a pile of freshly laid dirt.

"I lifted up the rock and there he was underneath. I lost all emotions. I was freaking out, turned around to grab the blanket to pick him up and my fiance shouted 'He's alive. He's breathing,'" she said.

Somehow, Chico was still alive, but suffering from internal injuries and dehydration. Belanger rushed him to the vet where they were able to make him comfortable before he was put to sleep.

The dog later had to be put down after its rescue.

"I just don't understand how somebody can do that to an animal and then go home and go to sleep at night snuggling their new kitten," said Belanger.

Police arrested Piquard and charged him with one count of animal cruelty. Piquard was released on $1,000 bail and is due in court on Tuesday.