Rhode Island man charged after authorities investigate ‘sexually abused dog’

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LINCOLN, R.I. (WPRI) — A Lincoln man was arrested overnight on animal abuse charges following an investigation involving a “sexually abused dog,” town police and the Rhode Island Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (RISPCA) said Wednesday.

Michael L. Woodhead, 38, was arraigned Wednesday morning on the charges, which include a felony count of abominable and detestable crime against nature. He was then released on personal recognizance.

Lincoln police said they were called to Woodhead’s Smithfield Avenue home on the evening of February 26 to execute a search warrant along with RISPCA investigators.

Based on “disturbing observations” made by the investigators, the female dog was removed from the home for evaluation and evidence was collected, according to police.

The evidence was processed by the R.I. Department of Health, police said, and on Tuesday, an arrest warrant was obtained for Woodhead.

In addition to the felony charge, Woodhead also faces misdemeanor counts of unnecessary cruelty to animals and care of dogs.

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