Spring Park man charged with animal mistreatment for allegedly punching, yelling at puppy

A Spring Park man has been charged with three counts of mistreating an animal after allegedly punching and yelling at a puppy.

Westley Ryan Jacobson, 34, has been charged by summons with three counts of mistreating an animal – one each of torture, cruelty and deprivation of food and shelter.

On July 28, officers with the Orono Police Department were called to 3832 Northern Avenue in Spring Park for a disturbance in which a man, later identified as Jacobson, was throwing knives at his house and yelling racial slurs, according to a criminal complaint.

The complaint states that multiple neighbors reported the front door of the home was open, and a puppy was tied to a rope and was surrounded by garbage in the yard.

The complaint goes on to say that officers were aware of Jacobson and knew him from prior mental health and drug-related calls. Law enforcement looked around Jacobson’s house and found only an air mattress, a refrigerator and a freezer with the doors open as well as garbage on the floor.

Notably, officers said they did not find any food for the puppy.

A witness who lives nearby told law enforcement she saw Jacobson yelling at the puppy, who ran to her before Jacobson took the puppy back. The witness added that the animal appeared distressed and was actively trying to get away from Jacobson.

A short time later, the same witness told law enforcement she saw Jacobson yelling at the puppy, who was hiding underneath a vehicle. She then saw Jacobson punch the puppy in the head and body repeatedly, the complaint states.

The witness told officials she was afraid of Jacobson and she feared for the safety of the puppy.

Jacobson is due in court on Oct. 20 at 1:30 p.m. for a hearing.