P.E.I. man found guilty of animal cruelty

Daniel Ponzo, 19, was found guilty of animal cruelty in Charlottetown Provincial Court on Monday, after evidence suggested the man slammed a dog's head against a wall.

Ponzo had pleaded not guilty in connection with the incident Feb. 13, 2016.

At Ponzo's trial Monday, a Charlottetown police officer and a PEI Humane Society employee testified they were called to an apartment in Charlottetown where Ponzo had been living with his girlfriend, after neighbours heard pounding noises and the sound of a dog yelping.

The police officer testified he found Ponzo inside with a dog that was bleeding from wounds to its head. The officer also testified they found a blood-stained hole smashed in the wall of a bedroom.

Claimed cat injured dog

Ponzo testified in his own defence. He told court it was his cat who had attacked his girlfriend's dog, and had caused the injuries.

"I was playing video games. I heard a hiss and yelp in the bedroom. My cat was latched on the dog's face," Ponzo testified.

A veterinarian who treated the dog also testified Monday. She told court wounds included cuts to the dog's head which required stitches, a swollen eye, bruised ears and a ruptured eardrum. The vet testified the injuries were caused by "blunt force trauma" and not by the claws of a cat.

The judge agreed.

Ponzo found guilty

"The cat attacking the dog is not consistent with the injuries," said judge John Douglas. "I am satisfied Mr. Ponzo is responsible for the injuries."

The judge ordered Daniel Ponzo to return to court April 13 for sentencing.

Mojo, a border collie-black lab mix, recovered from his injuries after treatment at the Atlantic Vet College and at the PEI Humane Society.

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