BUFFALO, N.Y. (WIVB) — A Buffalo man pleaded guilty Thursday on an animal cruelty charge after beating a puppy near Front Park.

23-year-old Navier Rodriguez admitted to hitting and throwing his 8-week-old puppy to the ground multiple times on the morning of April 7, 2021. The Erie County District Attorney’s office said the male puppy’s teeth were broken and took extensive mouth injuries.

The 8-week-old was at the Erie County SPCA for treatment. The puppy, now known as “Petey,” is being cared for by his foster family.

Rodriguez pleaded guilty to one count of overdriving, torturing, and injuring animals; Failure to Provide Proper Sustenance. He’ll be back in court on January 25, 2022, at 9:30 a.m. for sentencing and could face a maximum of one year in jail. Rodriguez is currently out on his recognizance and prohibited from owning an animal while the case is pending.

“This defendant savagely beat a defenseless puppy near a city park. My office’s Animal Cruelty Unit will continue to prosecute these cases and hold any animal abusers accountable for their actions. I want to thank the SPCA Serving Erie County for their assistance in these criminal investigations and for the many services they provide to help these animals,” Erie County DA John Flynn said.

Patrick Ryan is an award-winning reporter who has been part of the News 4 team since 2020. See more of his work here and follow him on Twitter.

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