SALEM, Mass. (AP) -- A Gloucester man who cut open his dog to retrieve cocaine it had swallowed has pleaded guilty to animal cruelty and drug possession charges.
John Dugan pleaded guilty Thursday in Salem Superior Court. The 28-year-old Dugan was sentenced to 2 1/2 years in jail, with 18 months to serve and the balance suspended for three years of probation.
Prosecutors say the animal cruelty charges stem from the fact that Dugan punched both his pit bills in the face and allowed one to choke on its own leash until it fell unconscious.
He was not actually charged with animal cruelty for cutting open the female dog in December 2012 because the incision was determined to have happened after the dog was already dead after overdosing on cocaine.