Man accused of abandoning dog at cemetery in freezing temperatures
SCITUATE, R.I. (WJAR) - A Rhode Island man faces criminal charges after police say he abandoned his dog at a cemetery in below freezing temperatures.
Good Samaritans, including Hailey Corsi, say they found a 7-year-old pit bull mix named Clyde locked in an animal carrier at a cemetery on Nipmuc Road in Scituate, Rhode Island. It was one of the coldest nights of the year.
“My initial reaction was, ‘Oh my God, this poor thing,’” Corsi said. “He was shaking, shivering, crying.”
Corsi was heading home when she spotted a crate on the side of the road.
“Just from the way he was screaming. I just knew something was wrong. I knew he was cold. So, my initial reaction was to get that dog in the heat,” she said.
Another neighborly bystander took Clyde in. That bystander’s mother says the dog wasn’t injured and was in good spirits before they took him to animal control.
An arrest warrant was issued Feb. 8 for Clyde’s owner, Richard Lombardi, for the alleged abandonment. He turned himself in to police Thursday and was later arraigned, WJAR reports. A not guilty plea was entered on his behalf.
Resident Sheri Robinson says Nipmuc Road has become a dumping ground for neglected pets. Four years ago, she had to step in when a Saint Bernard showed up in her driveway.
“There was a Saint Bernard literally half dead, but nobody claimed her. In two weeks, I signed the papers, and she became our dog,” Robinson said.
She named the dog Merrimack and says the entire community pitched in, supplying everything from food to help covering veterinary costs. So, when she heard how Corsi and others stepped in to help Clyde, she wasn’t surprised.
“We’re all coming around the pit bull situation, even me. I’m like, ‘Who’s claiming the pit bull? Because, you know, if nobody does, here I am,’” Robinson said.
The neighbor who initially took Clyde in offered to foster him, but animal control had to take custody, due to the charges against Lombardi.
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