Animal Cruelty Warrant: Dog Left Alone without Adequate Food, Water or Shelter ‘For Multiple Days’


Authorities on Feb. 7 charged a New Canaan man with cruelty to animals because his dog was left outside for multiple days without proper food, water or shelter, according to a police officer’s affidavit in an arrest warrant application. 

Jack Hawkins, 47, of New Norwalk Road, already had been warned by authorities in November, following a similar barking dog complaint, that it’s against the law to leave a dog alone for multiple days without proper food and water and with no protection from the weather, according to the affidavit of New Canaan Police Officer Owen Ochs, obtained Tuesday by through a public records request (viewable here in full as PDF).

Jack Hawkins. Mugshot courtesy of the New Canaan Police Department

According to the affidavit, the officer at about 8:08 p.m. on Saturday, Jan. 27 was dispatched to Hawkins’s home at 613 New Norwalk Road “on the report of a dog that has been barking for the past two days.”

Arriving, the officer “observed a black and white colored, female border collie dog lying on the front grass,” the affidavit said. “The house was dark and no vehicles were located in the driveway. The affiant then approached the dog and she was whimpering. The dog was cold to the touch.”

It was 39 degrees Fahrenheit and “[t]he grass was wet and muddy due to the recent rain,” the arrest warrant application said. “The dog then began following me and grabbing onto my leg in a manner as if looking for aid. In the front yard by the house, the affiant observed a plastic tan-colored igloo style dog house. The affiant looked inside the dog house, and the ground floor was wet with grass and leaves. The affiant observed no insulation or anything else for warmth, nor any food or water source in it or in the immediate area.”

Hawkins, a former Parks & Recreation Commission member who has been arrested twice in domestic incidents where the charges later were dropped, was arrested on the active warrant one week after a judge signed off on it. (He resigned from Parks & Rec after the second arrest, despite the efforts of then-First Selectman Kevin Moynihan to preserve his place.) In the arrest warrant application, Ochs cites a Nov. 4 barking complaint that had prompted the head of NCPD’s Animal Control section to advise Hawkins at the time about requirements, under state law, for providing one’s dog with food, water and shelter. At that time, according to the affidavit, Hawkins had said “that the dog could enter the residence through the garage for shelter.”

Yet on the night Nov. 27, the officer not only found no one at home but also found that “the garage door was completely shut.”

The officer watched the dog run “to a Home Depot five-gallon bucket that was filled with water and began drinking from it.”

“Upon looking inside the bucket, it had leaves, dirt and other sediment in it. It appeared to be filled by the recent rain and not by Hawkins or any other individual,” the affidavit said.

Police reached Hawkins, who told them he would not be home that night but that a neighbor would be able to take custody of the dog on returning home from dinner at 10:30 p.m.

Ochs said that he brought the dog into his police vehicle for about 15 minutes so that it could warm up, and later “had to lift the dog out of the prisoner compartment as it would not leave, despite the fact that the dog followed all my other commands during this incident.”

Ochs returned to the house at 10:31 p.m., according to his affidavit, and “[t]he dog was no longer outside.”

The officer spoke to an individual, presumably the neighbor, who said they’d put the dog inside Hawkins’s garage, though “[i]t is unknown what living conditions are inside the garage.” The individual told police that the dog had been barking all the previous night, Jan. 26, as well, the affidavit said.

Released on $5,000 bond, he’s scheduled to appear Wednesday in state Superior Court in Stamford. Hawkins does not yet have an attorney, according to Connecticut Judicial Branch records.

[Comments are disabled on this article.]

Comments are closed.