Christian Dilworth arrived at Stamford Superior Court on Tuesday morning to answer for multiple charges for a June incident in which he allegedly abused a dog and abandoned it in Bruce Park.
The court awaited Dilworth’s plea for the following charges stemming from the police department’s animal cruelty investigation:
Cruelty to Animals (misdemeanor), Interfering with an Officer/Resisting (misdemeanor), Making a False Statement (misdemeanor), Failure to Comply with Dog Ownership Requirements (infraction) and Illegal Release of a Domestic Animal (infraction).
Police say that on June 3, a mastiff type dog was found roaming in Bruce Park and that it displayed signs and symptoms consistent with having been abused.
In August, police announced that Greenwich Animal Control had determined the dog had been adopted in May 2018 by Christian Dilworth, 23, whose address at the time was 30 Brookside Drive in Greenwich.
Greenwich Free Press learned that “Duke” had been brought up from Baltimore by an animal rescuer in Rowayton. The rescuer said in an email that in nine years she has placed over 3,000 dogs in the northeast and into Nova Scotia, and that in May, because she was awaiting surgery for a broken wrist and had 8 rescue dogs of her own to look after, she had delegated the dog’s adoption to a partner, a dog training organization in Bethany, who adopted the dog to Dilworth.
Reached by phone on Sept 15, the owner of the Bethel facility who identified himself as Tom said he was a dog trainer, and that adoptions were new to him. He said Dilworth impressed him because he worked with dogs at a pet shop.
He said that since the Dilworth incident he has hired a company to do background checks.
The rescuer in Rowayton said that in adoptions, her first job is to do a background search, including looking up the person’s address and Tax history. She said she also calls their Veterinarian, if they have one, and checks their name on the CT Judicial Branch website where it is possible to look up civil and criminal cases. Lastly, she said an interview is set up with the potential adopter and the dog.
“Unfortunately, he did not go through my rigorous process and this unfortunate adoption was the result. Mea Culpa,” she wrote about the Dilworth incident.
If the Rowayton rescuer or the Bethel dog training facility had searched Dilworth’s name on the Dept of Justice criminal case lookup, or even Googled his name, they’d have seen he had been arrested in Greenwich twice in one week as recently as February and faced multiple felony charges:
Breach of Peace in February, Violating condition of Release (a Felony) in March, Harassment 2nd degree (misdemeanor), Violation of Protective Order (Felony) and Violation of Condition of Release 1st degree (Felony) in February.
All of these charges are awaiting disposition.
Up at the Bethany dog training facility, Tom said it was an oversight that the May 8 Facebook photo of Dilworth smiling beside his newly adopted “Duke” had not been removed.
He said he would have liked to go to court for Dilworth’s appearance but was busy running his business.
At the Stamford Superior Court entrance on Tuesday, Dilworth, dressed in a plaid shirt and jeans, was asked to remove his belt at the metal detector. Dilworth and a female companion sat in the back row of court room 1B.
At some point, as Judge Comerford called up dozens of defendants one by one, Dilworth and his friend left the court room.
Around 1:00pm, at the lunch break, the state prosecutor told one of the Greenwich Animal control officers that Dilworth’s case was continued.
The criminal case look-up on the Dept of Justice website says Dilworth is due back in Stamford Superior Court on October 9, 2018.
As for Duke, Greenwich Animal Control adopted the dog to a Greenwich Police officer and he now lives happily with two other dogs.