State Police reported the arrest on Saturday (5/25) of Evan Welcher, age 26, of 5799 Jungle Road in the Town of Arcadia. Welcher was originally charged with Misdemeanor Cruelty to Animals.
It is alleged that on May 25th, Welcher returned home and discovered his 10 year-old American Bulldog cross had gotten into the garbage and got it on the carpeting. According to a witness statement:
“…I was hanging out with Evan Welcher earlier today and we stopped back at his house. Evan walked in the house first and I walked in behind him. Evan saw that his dog got in the garbage and got it on the carpeting. Evan started to beat the dog and it ran toward me, then he grabbed the dog and started to beat on it some more. The dog jumped up onto Evan’s bed and he continued to beat it.
While he was beating the dog, it pissed on the bed and Evan went nuts. Evan took the dog downstairs, came back upstairs, grabbed a rifle, went back downstairs. I followed Evan downstairs, I saw the dog was tied up, and Evan shot the dog in the eye.
The dog didn’t die, it started to crawl toward him and he fired a couple more times. As Evan was doing this, I started to walk away. Evan’s mom heard the commotion and came out on the breezeway and started to yell at Evan. Evan was outraged and turned around, and screamed at his mother, “get the fuck back in the house”, all the while pointing the rifle in his mother’s direction.
I walked away from Evan’s house as he was yelling a this mother. As I was walking away, I heard a couple more shots. I probably heard at least 5 shots total.
A short time later, I got a call from a mutual friend of Evan and me, Mike—–. Mike told me that he just got off the phone with Evan and how Evan told him how he had to put the dog down and then roll it over and put one in the heart to finish it off…Ain’t right, something needs to be done about what happened.”
In the veterinarian report, Dr. Kevin Wolfer wrote:
…I know the owner of the dog to be Evan Welcher. Our records show that the dog was a client/patient here and named “Queenie”… I found the dog to be in good condition. I located two small caliber entry wounds behind the left shoulder which exited the anterior chest.”
The report went on to say two more bullet entry wounds were found in the skull of the dog and a possible exit wound in the animal’s eye. The Doctor also noted the dog’s jaw had been fractured. “My exam showed that the dog, a 3 year old American Bulldog mix died of multiple gunshot wounds to the head,” noted the Veterinarian’s report.
Welcher, in his statement to police said: The dog was getting to be old-10 years. (Contrary to the veterinarian’s report) It was always getting sick and making a mess in the house. I didn’t have the $350 to bring it to the vet to have it put down the right way. I grew up on farm, it doesn’t bother me to do that.”
After the District Attorney’s Office received the veterinarians autopsy report and witness statements, the charge was upgraded to a Felony Animal Cruelty to Animals on Wednesday (6/5). Evan was arraigned and remanded to jail on $5000 cash/$10,000 bond.
Records show Evan Welcher has a prior criminal history involving arrests for Obstructing Governmental Administration, Driving While Intoxicated and Resisting Arrest.
Wayne County District Attorney Rick Healy said this was a “Very serious case of animal cruelty” and he will handle the case himself and present the case to a Wayne County Grand Jury next month.