BRIDGEPORT — A former Fairfield politician accused of seriously abusing two small dogs was sent to jail Wednesday.
Under an agreement, Superior Court Judge Frank Iannotti increased the bond on Raymond Neuberger by $50 so that Neuberger will be incarcerated until Nov. 21 when a hearing will be held to determine whether he should get accelerated rehabilitation, a pretrial probation program.
Kenneth Bernhard, the Westport lawyer appointed advocate for Thor and Charlie, the two King Charles Cavalier spaniels, said he agreed to go along with the deal and will not object to Neuberger getting accelerated rehabilitation.
“I was insisting that he get jail time because cruelty to animals is a serious crime and I had no confidence that he wouldn’t offend again,” Bernhard said. “The message here should be that people who commit cruelty to animals are going to jail.”
Neuberger’s lawyer, John Gulash, declined comment.
Neuberger, 34, of Stone Ridge Way, Fairfield, is charged with four counts of malicious wounding of an animal. A former Representative Town Meeting member who also ran an unsuccessful campaign for state representative, he is accused of pouring boiling water on Thor and breaking Charlie’s ribs.
The alleged abuse was reported to police by veterinarians who treated the dogs. Neuberger had told his fiancée and police that Thor was burned when he accidentally spilled his coffee on the dog, although the veterinarian said the burn was too extensive to have been caused by hot coffee, police said.
Under accelerated rehabilitation Neuberger would not plead guilty to the charges but would be placed on two years’ probation. If he committed no other crimes during that time, the charges against him would be dismissed.
Bernhard said that as a condition of the probation, Neuberger would make a $23,500 donation to the Bridgeport animal shelter to “greatly enhance and improve the living conditions and recreational opportunities for dogs and cats living there.”
Neuberger is also to have no contact with the two dogs for the next two years. In the meantime, the dogs are living with his parents.
“They have recovered from their injuries and are now in fine condition,” Bernhard said.