Man Cropped a Litter of Puppies’ Ears with Scissors, Now Facing Criminal Charges

Dogs, News, Viral Stories

WARNING: Graphic images below. 

A Niagara Falls man is facing a variety of animal cruelty charges after unethically and cruelly cropping 7 puppies’ ears. After further researching the practices of the man in question, the procedure was worse than you could even imagine.

A local animal control officer was contacted by authorities, stating that a breeder had to seek veterinary care after her puppies’ ear cropping. She dropped them off with Michael Anthony Paonessa with the understanding that this procedure would be professionally done. Once the 7 puppies were back in her care, she was horrified by their condition.

The owner of the puppies heard of Michael Anthony Paonessa through mutual friends, and was told that he could offer the ear cropping service much cheaper than the average veterinarian. Once she was in contact with Paonessa, he offered her the service for all 7 of the puppies for just $250 total.

Most veterinary clinics will offer this service with the experience of a skilled veterinarian, anesthesia, pain relief, and follow-up for their aftercare. With a skilled service like this, it will easily cost anywhere from $200-$300 for each puppy. Since the woman could not afford this service and insisted on following through with the ear cropping, she found Paonessa.

Click for photo – not recommended

Paonessa returned the puppies to her later that day, and the woman was horrified by the result. The ears were swollen, poorly done, and hardly even stitched closed. His excuse was that he ran out of suture material.

This situation was only brought to light once one of the puppies’ ears became so inflamed and infected that she had to receive professional veterinary care. An anonymous tip was then received by the local police department, which brought awareness to his cruel practices.

After investigating the situation, authorities found that Paonessa cut the puppies’ ears with household scissors, and without anesthesia or pain relief of any kind.

“If you’re cutting a dog’s ears off without the proper anesthesia and without it being in a medical facility where it can be properly done so these animals aren’t suffering it’s brutal.” Bower and animal cruelty officer states.

All 7 puppies have since healed from this incident and are getting ready to head out to their forever homes.

ear crop
An adult dog with his ears cropped.

Paonessa has pleaded not guilty to the animal cruelty charges against him, but animal lovers world-wide are hoping for a harsh punishment!

If this situation teaches us anything, it should be to not trust anyone other than a licensed veterinarian to perform any procedures or diagnostics on your beloved pet. Our pups deserve the world, and we should make sure that they receive only that!


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