SCITUATE, R.I. (WPRI) — A Scituate man accused of severely injuring his girlfriend’s dog is facing animal cruelty charges, according to the Rhode Island Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (RISPCA).

Robert Nolette Jr., 22, has been charged with three felony counts of malicious injury to or killing of animals and one count of unnecessary cruelty to animals.

Nolette was taken into custody late last month after the RISPCA received a phone call from Bay State Veterinary Hospital regarding a severely wounded dog.

The dog, an 8-year-old beagle mix named Coco, was brought in for emergency care and had “multiple injuries consistent with physical abuse, including multiple rib fractures … and severe bruising to the chest and abdomen,” the RISPCA said.

The veterinarian told investigators he suspected the injuries were caused by multiple blows to the chest and “did not believe that the injuries occurred in another, less nefarious way.”

This is not the first time Coco has been treated for severe injuries, according to the RISPCA. Nolette and his girlfriend brought the dog to Ocean State Veterinary Hospital back in August with multiple rib fractures, which the couple believed were caused by “falling down the stairs.”

Investigators visited the couple’s Scituate home, where Nolette’s girlfriend explained that she was with her daughter at cheerleading practice when Coco was wounded.

The girlfriend said Coco was home with Nolette and acting normally prior to her leaving.

When she returned home, she found Coco suffering from multiple injuries and having difficulty breathing, according to the RISPCA.

Nolette was released on $5,000 personal recognizance and ordered not to care for any animals. His next court date is scheduled for Jan. 5.