NORWICH – A man from Greene accused of abusing several dogs – starving one of them to death – pleaded guilty in county court Friday. Douglas A. Hasslett pleaded guilty to the felony charge of aggravated cruelty to animals.
“It should be on the record that the pre-plea and mental health reports indicate the defendant has significant mental health issues and if it wasn’t for that, he’d be going to prison,” said District Attorney Joseph McBride.
Originally the Chenango County Sheriff’s Department arrested Hasslett for 10 counts of failure to license a dog, nine counts of cruelty to animals and one count of aggravated cruelty to animals. One of the dogs was found in the defendant’s freezer, apparently placed there after it had starved to death, said police. Hasslett later said he had saved the body because he wished to perform an autopsy on the animal.