Providence woman, brother charged with animal cruelty

Julie McDougall, Paul Thibeau (Rhode Island State Police photo)

A brother and sister were charged with animal cruelty after three dogs were stabbed and one of them died.

Rhode Island State Police said Julie McDougall, 26, of Providence, and Paul Thibeau, 18, of Boston, were each charged with one felony count of cruelty to animals and two counts misdemeanor counts of cruelty to animals.

The Rhode Island Society for the Prevention of Cruelty of Animals said one of Thibeau’s dogs got into a fight with McDougall’s pitbull-type dogs on Feb. 20. Investigators said Thibeau tried to break up the fight by stabbing the dogs and said he was defending hmself.

Joe Warzycha, of the RISPCA, told NBC 10 News that Thibeau waited more than seven hours before he took the dog that was most severely injured to a vet and when he did, the dog was already dead.

“Immediately following the altercation, he put the dog into the dog crate, ran some errands, took care of some other personal things and seven hours later, made the determination to bring the dog to Ocean State [Veterinary Specialists.]”

McDougall and Thibeau surrendered to state police Tuesday and were arraigned in Providence District Court. They were released pending their next hearing.

McDougall’s two dogs that were attacked were taken to the RISPCA and are being held pending the outcome of the case.

Warzycha said the SPCA does not dispute that Thibeau was defending himself and said the case would likely not have been criminal had the dogs been brought to the vet after they were stabbed.

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