NORTHBRIDGE, Mass. (CBS Boston) – Police charged a man with animal cruelty after he allegedly buried a dog alive in Northbridge. Richard Piquard, 24, of Whitinsville was arrested on Sunday.

The woman who found the dog and called police said the man who buried it had been trying to get rid of it for some time.

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“Picked him up and he was breathing and yelping and screaming in pain coated in dirt, his nose embedded with dirt it was horrible,” said Kaylee Belanger, describing the moment she found the dog.

The dog was known as Chico. The 18-year-old Shih Tzu belonged to Richard Piquard’s ex-girlfriend.

Richard Piquard (Image Credit: Northbridge Police)

Piquard had been caring for the dog but Belanger says he wanted to get rid of him. On Sunday, Chico was found barely breathing after being buried in the woods behind a Northbridge home.

“The dog had been buried for approximately five hours,” said Northbridge Police Chief Walter Warchol. “In my 41 years I’ve never seen anything like this.”

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Belanger shared photos and videos of the place Chico was found and the condition he was in.

(credit: Kaylee Belanger/Facebook)

He was rushed to Tufts Veterinary Hospital.

“He couldn’t move his head or get up due to what is suspected to be a dislocated disk in his neck. Chico was evaluated to be malnourished, dehydrated, in shock with hypothermia as well as anemia due to the infection of fleas on him. He had matted and stained fur. And he was clearly being neglected before being buried alive,” Belanger wrote.

(credit: Kaylee Belanger/Facebook)

Despite efforts to save him, Chico had to be euthanized.

Piquard was arrested on charges of animal cruelty and released on $1,000 cash bail. He is expected to be arraigned in Uxbridge District Court on Tuesday.

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