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Saugus man accused of abusing puppy

DA says animal was dragged down a street in Revere

By Neal J. Riley
Globe Correspondent / May 21, 2011

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A Saugus man wanted by the US Army on charges of desertion was in court yesterday, accused of dragging a puppy so hard down a street in Revere that one of its paws was rubbed raw and bleeding, Suffolk District Attorney Daniel F. Conley said in a statement.

Robert H. Dambra Jr., 30, a private first class on active duty, pleaded not guilty in Chelsea District Court to the charge of animal cruelty, Conley said.

Revere police were called to the area of Mountain Avenue and Madison Street around 7 p.m. Thursday for a report of a man dragging a dog by its leash, according to the district attorney. Police found Dambra carrying the injured 8-week-old puppy, which was bleeding from its right front paw and had sustained injuries on its other paws, as well, Conley said.

The dog — which police said was cold, wet, and shivering — was released to Dambra’s father, who said he owned it. Dambra was taken into custody, and police seized his shirt, which appeared to have bloody paw prints on it, Conley said.

Dambra had told police that he was teaching the puppy to walk, but when the dog was put on the ground, police saw that the dog had difficulty putting pressure on its paws, according to Conley.

A 44-year-old Revere woman had reported Dambra to police. She said she told Dambra that it looked as if he was hurting the dog, to which he allegedly replied with an obscenity, Conley said.

Bail was set at $450, and Dambra is expected back in court June 29.

Dambra’s attorney could not be reached for comment.

The Army has told Conley’s office that it wants Dambra in its custody, and the district attorney has agreed to assist, Conley spokesman Jake Wark said.

Neal Riley can be reached at nriley@globe.com.