ORRINGTON, Maine — A local man is facing a felony animal cruelty charge after allegedly killing a dog by hanging it, according to the Penobscot County Sheriff’s Office.
The series of events leading to the arrest of Jonathan Blais, 37, started on Sunday when he reported to the town’s animal control officer that his 5-year-old son had been bitten by a dog at the residence where he is staying, according to Sgt. Jon Carson.
Blais is renting a room at the home, owned by his sister and her fiance, who also owned two dogs, according to Carson. The dogs allegedly involved were a black Labrador retriever and an Australian cattle dog.
Blais had reported the black Lab had bitten his son on the cheek, breaking the skin, and the cattle dog had nipped his 2-year-old daughter, the sergeant said. The black Lab was taken from the residence at the owner’s request for a 10-day quarantine while the other dog stayed at the residence for a pending quarantine, also at the request of the owner, said Carson.
Neither child required hospital visits for the bites, he said.
About an hour after Orrington’s animal control officer, Carla Damon, left the residence, the cattle dog allegedly knocked Blais’ daughter over. Blais then brought the 10-month-old dog into a barn on the property and hanged it, Carson said.
Shortly after hanging it, Blais called Damon back to pick up the dog’s body. One of the homeowners contacted the sheriff’s office on Monday.
“That was when we got involved,” said Carson.
An investigation ensued, and early Wednesday morning, Blais was arrested in an unrelated domestic disturbance at the residence and charged with disorderly conduct and violating his probation, according to Carson.
Blais was convicted of violating a protection order and violating conditions of release last December, according to criminal records compiled by the Maine State Bureau of Identification. He served 15 days in jail and was placed on two years probation.
After being interviewed Wednesday while in custody, Blais was charged with aggravated animal cruelty, a Class C felony.
He is scheduled to appear in court on Oct. 15, the sergeant said.
Blais remains at Penobscot County Jail on a probation hold, Carson said.