Update: Dogs in Rochester cruelty case expected to recover

Feb 26, 2018

Police charged a Rochester man with two counts of animal cruelty on February 21, after two severely malnourished dogs were found on his property.

Susan Sweeney, an Eversource employee working on the New Bedford Road home, called police after spotting the dogs, which were later determined to belong to 33-year-old Tyrone Mendes.

Officers and Animal Control responded to the scene, where they found the dogs locked in the home without food and water.

Police said the conditions in the house were "very unsanitary," and that there was an "extreme odor of animal urine and feces" that could be detected from the driveway.

The property appeared to be otherwise vacant, police said. Officers rescued the dogs and brought them to the Animal Rescue League of Boston for immediate medical treatment.

Police contacted Mendes, who after arriving at the property, was charged with both animal cruelty and two counts of failure to license a dog.

Mendes is known to Rochester's Animal Control, said Rochester Police Sergeant Robert Small. Last year, a fight broke out between an animal owned by Mendes and a neighboring dog. While trying to break up the fight, the owner of the neighboring dog was bitten.

Animal Rescue League representatives said that both dogs were malnourished, but that the condition of one dog, two-year-old Bentley, was particularly alarming.

Bentley weighed 20 pounds when he was rescued, but according to veterinary records, he weighed around 50 pounds in 2017. On a scale used to determine an animal's "best possible condition," Bentley scored two out of nine. Representatives were also concerned about scars along the dog's face.

The second dog, nine-year-old Ace, was similarly dehydrated and malnourished, but his body condition was much closer to a healthy weight, according to the Animal Rescue League.

Both dogs have been placed on a feeding schedule that will promote safe weight gain. Representatives said each is expected to recover.

Mendes will appear in Wareham's District Court on March 20 for arraignment.