A Nevada woman, on her way to a Boston court to face drug trafficking charges, was arrested for kicking and punching her Yorkshire terrier in a bathroom at South Station, MBTA Transit Police said.
Officer Preston Horton was on patrol in the South Station commuter rail lobby at 7:45 a.m. Thursday when a witness told him that a woman was badly abusing a small dog inside the women’s restroom.
“A concerned commuter came up to me and said that she saw a woman, who was changing her clothes and putting on makeup, abusing a dog,” Horton said. “She said she picked the dog up by the leash and was basically hanging the dog, then started slapping and punching the dog.”
The tiny dog, named Dolce, is a Yorkshire terrier and was wearing a pink-and-black-striped jacket, he said.
Horton called a female Transit Police officer, who was already en route to South Station, to help with the situation.
An MBTA employee left the women’s restroom and told Horton that she also saw the woman kick the dog, he said.
The female officer arrived and escorted the woman out of the bathroom, Horton said.
Ana Prado, 26, of Henderson, Nev., was arrested for animal cruelty, a felony charge that carries a maximum of five years in prison.
While Transit Police were arresting the woman, a third witness told officers that she saw the woman kick the dog and told Prado to “pick on someone her own size,” Horton said.
Prado was placed in the back of a police cruiser, while Dolce got to ride shotgun, Horton said.
“We put her [Prado] in the back of the wagon and the dog in front with the officers,” he said. “The dog seemed to be okay and jumped right into the officer’s lap.”
Prado was booked at Transit Police headquarters Thursday on the cruelty charge and arraigned in Boston Municipal Court, where she pleaded not guilty.
Prado was in Boston to appear in Suffolk Superior Court for a charge of drug trafficking. She had just arrived at Logan International Airport on a flight from Las Vegas and was changing her clothes in the South Station bathroom to look appropriate for court, Horton said.
“She was actually getting ready to head over to court,” Horton said. “What she expected to do with the dog once she got to court, I have no idea. It’s very odd.”
Prado was booked at Transit Police headquarters Thursday on the cruelty charge and arraigned in Boston Municipal Court, where she pleaded not guilty. A judge released Prado on personal recognizance but granted prosecutors’ request that the dog be surrendered to the Massachusetts Humane Society, said Jake Wark, spokesman for Suffolk District Attorney Daniel F. Conley.
Prado’s arraignment on the drug trafficking charge was rescheduled to Friday. She pleaded not guilty to a charge of trafficking more than 200 grams of oxycodone, Wark said.
Prado had allegedly left behind two rubber gloves full of painkillers at the Logan Airport Hyatt on Sept. 14, Wark said.
The clerk magistrate continued Prado’s bail, which Prado had posted after a previous District Court appearance, at $20,000, ordering Prado to wear a GPS monitoring device and not to leave the state without the court’s permission, Wark said.
Dolce also had a cameo role in the drug trafficking case, Wark said. Prado was concerned enough about Dolce at the time of her drug arrest to tell State Police that she had left Dolce alone in a room at the Back Bay Hilton hotel. State Police had picked up the dog with Prado’s written consent and returned the dog to Prado after her release on bail.
Prado’s attorney, Joseph Keegan, declined to comment on the charges.
Horton said he has responded to other reports of animal cruelty during his 24 years as a police officer. He has been with the Transit Police for the past 14 years and served with the Northampton police for 10 years prior. A year ago, Horton arrested a man who was observed beating a dog near the MBTA Dudley Station.
He said both incidents of animal cruelty highlighted the effectiveness of the MBTA’s “See Something? Say Something” campaign.
“We want to be approachable,” Horton said. “Here’s a dog who’s totally helpless and compassionate people saw it and brought it to our attention. That goes a long way.”
Despite her ordeal, Dolce is doing well, Horton said.
The dog was handed over to the city’s animal control officers in Roslindale and evaluated by a veterinarian, but not before she munched on a few snacks from Transit Police, he said.
“The dog was extremely lovable,” Horton said. “The officers wanted to take her for a walk and give her treats. She was pretty happy wandering our halls at headquarters.”Melissa Werthmann can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.