Gloucester man accused of animal cruelty in courtAP , Associated Press
Mar. 5, 2013 4:31 AM ET
GLOUCESTER, Mass. (AP) — A Gloucester man police say cut open his dog to retrieve heroin the animal had swallowed is headed back to court.
John Dugan is scheduled to appear in district court on Tuesday for a status hearing on animal cruelty charges.
Authorities allege the 27-year-old Dugan cut open the pit bull to get at the drugs in December, then disposed of the body.
Dugan has pleaded not guilty and is free on $20,000 bail.
Dugan's lawyer tells the Gloucester Daily Times (http://bit.ly/XlgG55 ) that the charge should be dismissed because the dog died from ingesting heroin, and was already dead when he cut it open. If convicted, he faces up to five years in prison.
Dugan does not face drug charges because no heroin was ever found at his home.
Information from: Gloucester (Mass.) Daily Times, http://www.gloucestertimes.com