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Framingham man faces cruelty charges for allegedly abusing, killing his dog Ruffy

Posted by Jaclyn Reiss  January 7, 2013 04:46 PM

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Framingham Police Department
Douglas Coehlo, 27, of Framingham

A Framingham man was arraigned in Framingham District Court today for animal cruelty after his dog died last week following days of alleged abuse, according to police.

Police said the last thing Douglas Coehlo, 27, did to his injured dog Ruffy was stuff him into a dresser drawer where the black Terrier-mix died.

Coehlo was arrested Friday after his roommate alerted authorities that Coehlo had allegedly been physically abusing Ruffy, the dog Coehlo had owned for about a year, according to Framingham Police Lt. Ron Brandolini.

When police officers went to Coehlo's apartment and confronted him, he allegedly told authorities that he had thrown Ruffy across his room after the dog jumped up on his bed and urinated on him while he was sleeping, Brandolini said.

Coehlo allegedly told police that after he threw Ruffy, the dog hit the tile floor - his roommate also allegedly said the dog hit the wall - and was whining for the rest of the night. Ruffy allegedly had a big bump on his head, and began bleeding from the mouth, Brandolini said.

In the days that followed, Coehlo allegedly tried to treat the dog at home with a pain pill, which Ruffy threw up, Brandolini said.

"Over the course of the next several days, he said the dog was acting weird but thought he was OK, and never took him to the vet," Brandolini said.

Meanwhile, Coehlo allegedly began binding Ruffy's feet together - front to front and back to back - at night so the dog would not jump up on the bed again, Brandolini said.

On Thursday night, Coehlo allegedly shoved the bound dog in his bureau drawer, closing it most of the way. When he woke up on Friday morning, Ruffy was dead, Brandolini said.

The roommate allegedly noticed the dog's absence on Friday and found Ruffy's remains in the dumpster, calling authorities shortly after, Brandolini said.

Brandolini also said that when police went to Coehlo's home, they allegedly overheard him admitting some his deeds over the phone, saying he was packing to leave because the police were after him.

Coehlo was arrested on Friday and arraigned today on one count of animal cruelty. Framingham District Court Judge Douglas Stoddart ordered Coehlo be held on $20,000 cash bail, with the condition that he has no contact with domesticated animals, according to the Middlesex District Attorney's office.

Coehlo's next court date is Feb. 7 for a pretrial conference.

Brandolini said that Coehlo, a native of Brazil native, was being held for federal immigration authorities on a detainer.

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Jaclyn Reiss can be reached at jaclyn.reiss@globe.com

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