SMITHFIELD, R.I. (WPRI) — A Smithfield man was sentenced to serve at least a year in prison after pleading guilty to unlawfully practicing veterinary medicine.
The Rhode Island Society for Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (RISPCA) began investigating Michael Williams after seizing 25 French bulldogs living in deplorable conditions at his Pleasant View Avenue home last September.
Williams was charged with 25 counts of unnecessary cruelty to animals and released on bail.
But following a months-long investigation into cropping dog’s ears at an East Providence car wash, he faced a judge again for unlawfully practicing veterinary medicine.
Earlier this year, Williams was arrested in Pennsylvania on animal cruelty charges after police learned he had several dogs living with him. He was then extradited to Rhode Island as a bail violator.
Williams received a six-year sentence with one year to serve at the ACI on charges on unlawfully practicing veterinary medicine and conspiracy. In addition, he will no longer be allowed to own, possess, care for, sell or breed animals, either directly or indirectly, during that six-year period.
“We feel this sentence sets a precedent that crimes against animals will not be tolerated in this State, and we hope this acts as a deterrent for any future offenders,” RISPCA President Joe Warzycha said in a statement.