SalemNews.com, Salem, MA

December 22, 2012

Bail set at $5K in latest dog case

By Marjorie Nesin
Staff Writer

---- — GLOUCESTER — The 30-year-old Gloucester man who was arrested Thursday for allegedly kicking his roommate’s beagle mix and fracturing the dog’s leg in three places, was held on $5,000 cash bail following his arraignment yesterday in Gloucester District Court.

Marc Appleton of 6 Langsford St. in Lanesville is set to return to court for a pretrial hearing next Friday.

Appleton, in a confession to police after his arrest, said he had kicked Buddy the dog because he was “frustrated and tired” when he came home and found that Buddy had chewed some DVDs and urinated on the floor, according to police.

Appleton is the defendant in Gloucester’s second grisly animal cruelty case this month. John “Jack” Dugan, the defendant who allegedly gutted his pet pit bull, Xena, after the dog ingested both a sealed bag of heroin and an unsealed bag, is slated to return to court for a pretrial hearing Jan. 4.

Judge Joseph Jennings, who set Appleton’s bail, also found Appleton to be indigent, but able to pay $150 for a court-appointed lawyer. When setting Appleton’s bail, Jennings considered the nature and circumstances of Appleton’s alleged actions, Appleton’s record, and the potential penalty associated with the charges against him.

Appleton, if found guilty, would face up to five years in a state prison, up to 21/2 years in a house of correction, a fine no higher than $2,500, or a combination of a fine and jail time.

Appleton has a dog of his own, but police turned the dog over to Appleton’s sister at the time of his arrest.

In the pit bull case, Dugan, 27, has been held on $20,000 bail since his Dec. 6 arrest. Jennings found that Dugan is also subject to random drug and alcohol testing and must remain drug and alcohol free.

Dugan allegedly cut Xena open and removed her innards after the dog died from a heroin overdose, according to the police report. Police say they believe Dugan gutted the pit bull to retrieve a sealed bag of heroin from her stomach.

A Gloucester police detective entered verbal testimony on Dec. 6, saying that Dugan had also hung Xena from a rope as some kind of training exercise one or two weeks before the dog’s Dec. 3 death.

Another pit bull, named Damian, was recovered from Dugan’s home at the time of his arrest, and that dog has since been adopted, according to police.

A check of city records shows that Dugan also owned another dog, a black Labrador retriever also named Xena, but that dog was not found during the investigation, police said. The black Lab had not been licensed since 2009, but had visited the veterinarian in the past year, according to a list submitted to the city on July 24.

Neither Xena the pit bull nor Damian were licensed, and neither dog had visited an area veterinarian for rabies shots in the past year, according to city records.