Family members report man's alleged abuse of dog

Groton - A local man was charged with animal cruelty Monday after family members called police saying he had abused their 7-pound miniature Doberman Pinscher.

“The dog was struck in the face, causing an injury to the lower jaw, and witnesses observed other actions, which are indicative of physically abusing the dog,” Lt. John Varone said.

The family members took the dog out of the house and called police at about 8 p.m., he said.

Jacob T. Blair-Handzel, 20, of 14 Poplar Road was charged with cruelty to animals and disorderly conduct.

The dog, Vito, was brought to Companion Animal Hospital for treatment, Varone said. The hospital declined to release information on the animal’s injuries or condition.

The Groton Animal Foundation was assisting with the cost of medical care, he said.

Blair-Handzel was turned over to his commanders at the U.S. Navy and was not returned to the home.

The case remains under investigation, Varone said.

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