GLENS FALLS -- Glens Falls Police have arrested a local man for allegedly binding and drowning the dog that was found dead in the Hudson River on Thursday.
Matthew D. Wisell, 27, of Prospect Street, Glens Falls, was arrested late Friday night, after tips from the public pointed police toward him. He was charged with aggravated animal cruelty, Glens Falls Police Detective Lt. Pete Casertino said.
The dog's name was Murphy. It apparently belonged to his girlfriend, and had been having minor behavorial problems that prompted her to want to find a new home for it. Wisell did not live with the owner.
Wisell told her he would give it away to someone else, but instead chose to kill it, police said. He not only bound its muzzle and legs with tape, but told police he also held it underwater until it had drowned, Casertino said.
"He went and bought tape before he took the dog for a walk at Haviland Cove. This was a calculated plan," Casertino said.
Casertino said Wisell did not explain why he chose to kill it instead of find a new home for it. The killing happened a couple of weeks ago.
The girlfriend has not been charged. Police said she believed Wisell had given the animal to a couple.
Police got a break in a case when a relative of the dog owner saw a picture of it on the social networking website Facebook that police had released on Friday and recognized it as the former owner's dog.
Wisell was arraigned in City Court on Saturday and sent to Warren County Jail for lack of $10,000 cash bail or $20,000 bail bond, Glens Falls Police Sgt. Chris Eggleston said.
The small dog was found in the river near Haviland Cove with its snout and legs bound in black electrical tape. A necropsy led to the determination it had drowned.
Glens Falls Police released a picture of the dog Friday afternoon, and numerous tips from the public ensued.
Aggravated animal cruelty is punishable by up to 2 years in state prison.
Police said Wisell moved to the area from western Vermont. He has had a number of arrests in Vermont and New York, and has a prior felony conviction, according to police.
Glens Falls Police were assisted with the investigation by SPCA of Upstate New York and Hudson Falls Police.