Joshua Lawrence Sack

Prince Frederick, MD – A former Calvert County resident will be sentenced this summer for mistreating a pit bull last November. The defendant, Joshua Lawrence Sack, 24, entered an Alford plea to one count of aggravate animal cruelty earlier this month in Calvert County Circuit Court. Judge Mark Chandlee set Sack’s sentencing for June 26.

Sack was indicted in December on four counts—three charges of aggravated animal cruelty, a felony—and a misdemeanor charge of animal cruelty failure to provide. Sack was living in Sunderland when the alleged incidents involving the pit bull occurred.

According to court documents, early on the morning of Nov. 17 a Calvert County Animal Control Unit officer met with veterinarians at the Mid-Atlantic Animal Specialty Hospital (MASH) in Huntingtown and a Calvert County Sheriff’s Office deputy who had been summoned due to a report of “an intoxicated disorderly subject.”

Investigators stated that Sack and a roommate brought the pit bull named Sosa to MASH because it was “not moving and having trouble breathing.” A vet at the hospital told Animal Control Officer Frederick Sheckels that Sosa “was placed on life support as there was significant inflammation and swelling injuries in the dog’s neck, causing trouble breathing and possible head trauma. The dog was also unable to move its legs,” according to court documents. In a written report another vet stated Sosa was hospitalized “for treatment of traumatic injury/suspected strangulation resulting in upper respiratory obstruction/respiratory arrest, significant lingual and neck [soft tissue] swelling and scleral hemorrhage.”

Sack was subsequently interviewed by Detective Justin Livingston of the Calvert County Sheriff’s Office and a recording of the interview was forwarded to the Calvert County State’s Attorney’s Office. In compliance with Maryland Criminal Law, authorities seized control of the dog.

Calvert County State’s Attorney Laura Martin, who prosecuted the case against Sack, told that Sosa has made a remarkable recovery and is now in the care of a new owner.

Sack, who moved to Annapolis shortly after being charged with animal cruelty, was apprehended March 7 after failing to appear for a court hearing Feb. 26, according to court records. He had been freed on bond Dec. 20 after his indictment. He was represented at the plea hearing by Allison Marie O’Connell of the Office of the Public Defender.

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