Joseph Davis/PIPD photo

Joseph Davis, the Presque Isle man accused of walking his dog on a brick and a chain and of cropping the dog's ears without anesthetic, appeared in court Wednesday.

The judge decided to remove the young animal from Davis' home.

Davis had been charged late last month with aggravated cruelty to animals and with practicing unlicensed veterinary services.

Presque Isle Police Chief Matt Irwin wrote today that there has been an outpouring of concern for the puppy, explaining that laws pertaining to animal control officers and their authority to act are different from those pertaining to law enforcement officers.

In particular, an animal control officer does not have the authority to seize an abused animal without an ex-parte order from a court, while a law enforcement officer does. While it seems counter-intuitive to give police officers, who likely have much less animal abuse related training than an ACO, more authority than an ACO- that is in fact the law in Maine. However, there is nothing preventing an ACO from bringing law enforcement into the investigation and thereby making available a different set of laws permitting law enforcement to seize the dog if probable cause exists to do so. This is where our department stumbled. For reasons that have been identified and rectified, we did not get an officer to the scene in a timely way which prevented us from taking immediate custody of the puppy.

Chief Irwin said as soon as the court ordered that the puppy be removed from the home, officers safely secured the puppy. " Aside from the obvious injuries to the puppy’s ears, it appeared to be in good health. My understanding is the Central Aroostook Humane Society has a well-qualified foster home for the puppy."

Davis told investigators the dogs ears were cropped with a razor and that the animal was given pain medication and antibiotics afterward.  Davis said he likes the look of cropped ears on an a dog.