PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WPRI) — A Providence woman is facing animal abuse charges after police say she stole her neighbor’s ferret and injured her own chihuahua, ultimately killing them both.
Melissa Snead, 32, is facing multiple animal cruelty charges and a count of breaking and entering.
According to a police affidavit filed in Providence District Court, Snead’s neighbor in an apartment building on Willow Street reported her pet ferret missing on Feb. 26, and said she believed Snead stole the ferret.
Two days later, Snead called police to report injury to a ferret and a dog.
According to a police report, Snead told the officer she thought someone had a copy of her key and had been breaking into her apartment and injuring her dog and ferret.
Police said officers found a chihuahua named “Rhodie” on Snead’s bathroom floor, bleeding from his mouth and unable to stand on his hind legs. The police report said Rhodie was “trembling in fear.”
The officer also found the ferret, which was unable to stand and was dragging his hind legs behind him.
After talking to Snead, the officer said she admitted to stealing the ferret from her neighbor, “as payback,” because she believed that the neighbor was stealing from her apartment, according to the report.
The officer reported not seeing any signs of a break-in at Snead’s apartment, despite her insistence she was missing a picture of her daughter and a “few coins” from her piggy bank.
Police said Animal Control took possession of both Rhodie and the ferret and transported them to an animal hospital for treatment, where neither survived their injuries.
The court complaint alleges Snead did “poison, assault and torture” the animals, causing their deaths.
Snead was charged with two counts of unnecessary cruelty to animals, two counts of malicious injury to or killing of animals, and one count of breaking and entering. She was arraigned Friday and released on personal recognizance. A judge ordered she be evaluated for mental health.