A Connecticut dog trainer pled not guilty to charges related to the death of French Bulldog she was caring for.
Dog parent reported Connecticut dog trainer to authorities
Josephine “Josie” Ragland appeared in Woburn District Court for an arraignment on Wednesday. According to Boston.com, she faced charges of larceny over $1,200 by false pretenses and intimidation of a witness. These charges related to the death of a 3-year-old French Bulldog, Charlie. The North Reading dog allegedly died while in Ragland’s care.
Dog trainer accused of scamming North Reading family whose dog died appears in court https://t.co/Yw976OpnNd
— WBZ | CBS News Boston (@wbz) October 25, 2023
The criminal complaint described how 43-year-old Bart Hanson, Charlie’s dog dad, paid Ragland for two weeks of training in Ragland’s home. The training began in early September. However, at the end of the two weeks, Ragland didn’t return the dog. Instead, she claimed Charlie ran away.
Hanson reported the ordeal to the North Reading police, who launched an investigation. Ragland allegedly lied to police several times. Finally, she admitted that a few days after arriving at her home, Charlie died. Instead of telling Hanson what happened, she sent the dog dad pictures of Charlie taken while he was still alive.
Police recovered Charlie’s emaciated body from a Connecticut roadside. Officers also rescued four other “malnourished” pups from Ragland’s residence. Then, they returned the dogs to their parents, who live in various locations across New England.
More dog parents come forward
Other dog parents and former clients of Ragland, some as far away as California, have joined in the accusations of neglect and abuse. In one case, a German Shepherd from Palo Alto went missing while in Ragland’s care.
After Ragland pled not guilty to the charges, authorities released her on personal recognizance. However, she had to surrender her passport. Also, she is not allowed to work or volunteer for organizations that help animals.
This case is far from over. Next, Ragland will attend a pretrial hearing on Jan. 10, 2024.