State police have arrested a Chester couple on animal cruelty charges after police said two emaciated dogs were removed from their care in March.
Edward Szachewicz, 54, and his wife Sharon, 47, were arrested Tuesday and each charged with two counts of cruelty to animals.
According to the arrest warrant application, on March 23 Jae Wolf, animal control officer for Chester, Deep River, and Essex, and Trooper Dawn Taylor responded to 39 Castle View Drive after Wolf received an anonymous tip that two dogs were being neglected and abused at that address.
The application stated that when they arrived, Taylor reported hearing a dog barking from inside the home. Edward Szachewicz answered the door and invited them inside. He told the officers that he and his wife had two dogs, an Akita/Chow mix named Brianna and a Viszla named Barron.
When Taylor asked to see the dogs, Edward Szachewicz brought them outside to see Brianna. Taylor reported that at the time Brianna was tied to a red metal lead that was tangled and restricted her movement. There was a dog kennel with chain-link fence surrounded by clutter in the yard. Taylor did not see any food or water bowls and observed that the dog looked “severely neglected and had a severe skin rash on her back,” the arrest warrant application states.
Taylor reported that Edward Szachewicz became defensive when questioned about the dog’s condition and said “Take the dog. I did not want them anyway.”
Officers also observed Barron, who was in the basement. Taylor stated in the warrant application that Barron was “Extremely skinny and I could see his rib, hip and leg bones.”
Edward Szachewicz was unable to show officers any dog food or dog bowls at the residence. The dogs were removed from the home. Later that night, Taylor returned to the home and Edward and Sharon Szachewicz signed the dogs over to the town of Chester and ACO Wolf. The dogs were taken to the Deep River dog pound.
The next day ACO Wolf brought both animals to the Saybrook Veterinary Hospital in Old Saybrook. The veterinarian reported that both dogs were emaciated and also infested with fleas. The dog’s medical records also revealed that they were not up to date on shots.
ACO Wolf also discovered that neither dog was registered.
It took four and a half months for the dogs to gain enough weight and be healthy enough to leave the pound and be adopted.
On August 23, Edward Szachewicz and Sharon Szachewicz were arrested. They were each released on $5,000 bonds and are scheduled to appear in court on September 6.