April 17, 2021
By Christina Vitale
TIVERTON, R.I. (WJAR) — A Massachusetts man has been charged with purposely abandoning his 10-year-old jack Russel dog twice in two days.
Corey Souza, of Fall River, told police that he had no intention of ever coming back for his dog, Cosmo.
According to a police report, he told officers the dog was too old and he no longer wanted to take care of it or clean up after it.
Souza also stated that he didn’t want the dog dying in the house.
"That broke my heart because that dog has only known that family its entire life and when it needed them more than ever, that’s when they decided to turn their back on it," said Wendy Taylor, Executive Director of West Place Animal Sanctuary.
The sanctuary serves as a farm animal rehabilitation center and temporary holding facility for lost dogs found in Little Compton and Tiverton.
"People will let their dogs run in a park, on a beach, and dogs get lost all the time," said Taylor.
The police report said Souza admitted to purposely abandoning his dog last Friday night.
Cosmo was spotted at Lloyd Beach the next day.
"So he was brought here, we put the word out on social media and it was seen by 16 thousand people and shared over 500 times," said Taylor.
Cosmo spent a little over 24 hours at the sanctuary before being picked up by the owner of the dogs father.
"He had been really nervous and really scared with us -- we really couldn’t do anything to comfort it no matter what we tried, but he lit up and was a totally different dog when he saw the family member, so we had no reason to believe we weren’t doing the right thing," said Taylor.
Police said Souza then took Cosmo without the father knowing and drove the dog to Mystic, Connecticut where he abandoned him again.
"As I was driving, the dog was running right down the middle of road 127 just right in the middle of the road," said Adam Dolliver, who helped save the dog in Mystic.
Dolliver said multiple people were chasing after Cosmo.
"Any time any one of us approached the dog he would take off running scared and he was limping," said Dolliver. "His fur was matted and dirty, I just had a feeling he didn’t come from around here."
Dolliver was able to grab Cosmo and give him to Stonington police.
He then took a picture of Cosmo and posted it to social media for a lost dog. While searching for "lost Jack Russel" on Facebook, he found the West Place Animal Sanctuary post of Como, and Dolliver sent Taylor a message.
"I looked at all the specific facial markings and once I noted five or six very distinctive aspects of this dog I knew it was Cosmo," said Taylor.
Taylor said Cosmo is safe and happily with an organization called Jacks Galore Russel Rescue in Massachusetts where he is up for adoption.
Jacks Galore told NBC 10 News Cosmo needs a lot of vetting before being adopted.
"I think with all the publicity surrounding what happened to Cosmo I know he’ll find a good home," said Taylor.
On Wednesday, Souza was arrested and charged with animal abandonment, and has since then been released.
He is expected to be seen in court on July 23.