By Gabriel Rom
A Queens man who pretended to save a starving pooch that he actually abandoned pleaded guilty to felony animal cruelty charges Tuesday, according to Queens District Attorney Richard Brown.
Anthony Esteves, 25, from Ridgewood, is barred from owning an animal for three years and must register with the city Department of Health as a convicted animal abuser, Brown said.
In October, Esteves brought the boxer to an animal shelter on Queens Boulevard and allegedly told police that he had found the dog lying helpless in a park, the DA said. Then when he was asked by shelter employees to give his address, Esteves provided a false one, Brown said.
Investigators determined Esteves neglected the dog for weeks, allowing newly named Brewster to wither away to 25 pounds–so emaciated that he did not have enough energy to walk, according to case files.
Based on its bone structure and height, the dog should have weighed about 60 to 65 pounds.
“A dog may be man’s best friend, but in this case the defendant proved to be Brewster’s worst enemy,” Brown said. “Brewster has since recovered and now the defendant is a convicted felon.”
Estevez provided various stories about who the dog belonged to and how he had obtained the dog and why the dog was so malnourished before finally admitting that the dog was his and that he did not want the dog to die in his bedroom, Brown said.
After police searched his home, they found a dog’s food dish which contained Estevez’s personal items on the top of a dresser and which did not fit the dog bowl stand in the room. There were no receipts for dog food, veterinary care, dietary supplements for dogs nor was there any dog food anywhere in the house nor evidence of dog food ever having been in the house.
“It is expected that Brewster will soon be adopted into a loving home,” Brown added.
The Daily News reported Animal Care Centers of NYC contacted the Adopt a Boxer Rescue group, which has been handling Brewster’s veterinary care and placed him with a loving foster family.
The dog is now reportedly in good health.
Reach reporter Gabriel Rom by e-mail at grom@