Niagara Gazette

July 11, 2013

Suspect surrenders in Falls dog case

By Mark Scheer
Niagara Gazette

Niagara Gazette — A 12th Street man wanted in connection with a high-profile animal cruelty case turned himself in to Niagara Falls police on Wednesday.

In a release, SPCA officials said Donald E. Rubin Jr., 42, of 254 12th St., walked into the Niagara Falls Public Safety Complex at 8:30 a.m. Wednesday. SPCA officials said Rubin told police he had been following media coverage of three emaciated dogs found in a 12th Street apartment where he once lived and knew police would be seeking his whereabouts once an arrest warrant was signed.

SPCA Executive Director Amy Lewis said she learned about Rubin’s decision during a telephone call Wednesday morning from Falls Police Officer Dave Bower, who also serves on the board of directors for the animal shelter. Police were in the process of securing a warrant for Rubin’s arrest when he turned himself in, Lewis said.

“I was shocked by the phone call, but 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,” Lewis said.

On June 30, the SPCA and falls police removed three dogs from a 12th Street apartment previously occupied by Ruben after receiving reports of animal neglect on the premises. The dogs were found emaciated and living in deplorable conditions. The youngest — a 7-week old puppy named Jonah — was in criticial condition when found. Jonah was rushed to the shelter for treatment and later to a veterinary clinic where he died July 3. 

Rubin is now facing charges of failure to provide proper sustenance, a misdemeanor charge.

“I am pleased with the arrest of Donald Rubin,” said SPCA Board President Michelle Madigan in the release from the shelter. “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. Animal cruelty will never stop until the law includes justice for animals as well as people.”

Lewis said the two other dogs — a female SPCA officials have named Nellie and a male they are calling Dorian — were very thin when they were found but are progressing with treatment. She said the animal shelter is still awaiting permission from the police to put the dogs up for adoption, but said she remains hopeful that they will eventually be placed with new owners.

“They are both doing extremely well,” she said.

mug - NIA SPCA arrest mug 071113 Donald E. Rubin Jr. Surrendered to police