Maine man charged with dog cruelty

Allegedly left dog leashed outside in Leyden during lightning storm

LEYDEN — A Maine man was arrested for allegedly leaving his dog leashed to a tree in Leyden, during a lightning storm, so he could attend a music festival.

Thomas M. Peers, 32, of Presque Isle, Maine, was arraigned Friday on charges of cruelty to animals and trespassing. He pleaded innocent to the charges, and was released on bail.

He was tracked down at the Wormtown Music Festival in Greenfield, after Leyden police found his dog tied up in the woods off Greenfield Road, according to a report filed by Officer Thomas Herzig.

At 2:28 p.m., Herzig was called to Greenfield Road, where a citizen had reported a dog tied to a tree. The caller reported seeing a man exit a brown station wagon with a dog earlier in the afternoon.

Lt. Gilda Galvis took the call, and told Herzig that the dog’s owner was believed to be at the music festival, which does not allow canines.

When Herzig responded, he found a bull mastiff cane corso dog tied to a tree in the woods, next to two empty bowls, he wrote. At the time, a severe thunderstorm was passing through the area. The dog seemed distressed, and barked for 10 to 15 minutes as Herzig tried to calm it down, he wrote.

Police Chief Daniel Galvis then responded, and was able to calm the animal and get it into Herzig’s cruiser. The officer then took the dog to the regional animal shelter, before going to the festival at about 6:30 p.m. to try to track down its owner.

The festival’s organizer, Mark Blanchette, told Herzig that Peers was working the festival, and helped to track him down.

When found, Peers told police he dropped the dog at a friend’s house in Greenfield for the weekend, according to the report. That friend was tracked down at the festival as well, and told police she had nothing to do with the dog, Herzig wrote.

According to Herzig, Peers later admitted to leaving the dog tied up in the woods, and said he planned to go back later, and camp in Leyden with his dog. At that point, Peers was taken into custody.

He is set to return to court for a pretrial conference on Oct. 24.

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