A homeless man from the West Village just learned that his dog, taken away by the NYPD earlier this month, was euthanized at an ASPCA animal hospital without his permission. DNAInfo New York, which had been looking into the dog's fate, broke the news to his owner yesterday.
"Man in a Van" Jimmy Tarangelo, 62, said his beloved 15-year-old border collie mix, Spot, was wrongly taken away from him and put down, even though the old dog's ailments were treatable.
Police stopped by Tarangelo's van Aug. 7 after hearing multiple reports that Spot was in poor health and had an open wound on his back. They charged Tarangelo with animal cruelty and took away the dog, who was transferred to the ASPCA the next day, DNAInfo reports.
That wound, Tarangelo says, was actually a mast cell tumor that Spot had already been to the vet for twice in July. He had also contacted another vet about the condition and, with help from friends, raised $1,000 so Spot could have the procedure that doctor recommended.
Despite multiple attempts to contact the ASPCA in the weeks after his pet was taken, Tarangelo got no response. The NYPD just told him to wait until his court date next month, he said.
The ASPCA confirmed to DNAInfo that Spot had been put down, but wouldn't say when it happened.
Tarangelo told the vet that Spot was still eating, peeing and pooping normally and loved going to the dog run. He didn't feel his pet was ready for euthanasia.
Ironically, Tarangelo was a regular donor to the ASPCA, giving $18 a month.
You can see Tarangelo discussing his dogs in Sean Dunne's 2009 short documentary Man in Van.
"This is my family. It gives me my sense of responsibility. They protect me," he said. "Spot's the father."
Another one of Tarangelo's dogs, Cinnamon, passed away 5 years ago, but Spot and Cinnamon's son, Pickles, still lives with him.
[Photo via Man in Van/Vimeo]