A Falls man, charged with multiple counts of animal cruelty, has pleaded not guilty.
Donald E. Rubin Jr., 42, of 254 12th St., entered his plea to three counts of cruelty to animals during an arraignment in Falls City Court. The Class A misdemeanors each carry possible one year jail terms.
Rubin was jailed, briefly, in lieu of $2,000 bail and will return to court Thursday for further proceedings.
He surrendered himself to city cops just days after his puppy, Jonah, died from complications tied to maltreatment. Rubin told police he had been following media coverage of the discovery of three emaciated dogs in a 12th Street apartment where he once lived and said he knew police would be looking for him after an arrest warrant was issued.
SPCA officials had expressed satisfaction that Rubin surrendered on the charges.
"I’m glad (Rubin) is accepting his part in this case and I’m hoping the judge doesn’t allow for any kind of leniency,” SPCA Shelter Director Any Lewis said.
On June 30, the SPCA and Falls police removed three dogs from Rubin's former apartment. They had been called there by neighbors who said three dogs had been left there.
The dogs, an adult male, an adult female and Jonah, a 7-week-old puppy, were found emaciated and living in deplorable conditions. Jonah was found in critical condition and was rushed first to the shelter for treatment and then to a Buffalo veterinary hospital where he died on July 3.
“I am pleased with the arrest of Donald Rubin,” SPCA Board President Michelle Madigan said in a release from the shelter at the time of his arrest. “Jonah was a beautiful, living, breathing soul and deserved to be treated with love and care, not to be abused and left to suffer and die."
The conditions of Rubin's remaining dogs, named Nellie and Dorian by shelter volunteers, are continuing to improve. Lewis said the shelter is hoping to receive permission, soon, to put the dogs up for adoption.