RISPCA connect animal cruelty cases as another suspect comes forward

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SMITHFIELD, R.I. (WPRI) — Following a months-long investigation into several animal cruelty cases in Rhode Island, a man accused of allowing a man to illegally clip dogs’ ears at a North Providence car wash faced a judge Thursday.

The Rhode Island Society for Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (RISPCA) said Daniel Guerriero surrendered to authorities in June. 

The investigation began when 25 English and French bulldogs were seized from a home in Smithfield back in March. Michael Williams, 34, and Michael “Noel” Ramos, 35, were taken into custody, each on 25 counts of unnecessary cruelty and conspiracy.

Months later, East Providence police received a tip that Kayla Card of North Providence was having dogs’ ears cropped at a Taunton Avenue car wash on at least two separate occasions.

The Smithfield animal cruelty case helped the RISPCA track down Card. She was arrested and charged with cruelty to animals, conspiracy, and obstructing police.

RISPCA Animal Cruelty Officer Joe Warzycha said a warrant allowing investigators to search through social media and text messages helped them track down Guerriero. The new development in the investigation helped them connect the dots between all of the aforementioned animal cruelty cases.

“They’re all acquainted, they all know each other,” Warzycha explained. “It’s been very interesting digging into this world of bully breeds. Everyone is connected in some fashion, it seems.”

Guerriero is facing charges of conspiring to commit the offense of practicing veterinary medicine and conspiring to commit an act of animal cruelty. He was released on personal recognizance.

Williams and Card are scheduled to be arraigned Monday. The RISPCA said they should be facing “some serious sentencing” and extended jail time.

Ramos was sentenced Sept. 4 to 22 months of probation and 80 hours of community service after pleading no contest to the charges against him.

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