Oswego County man arrested on animal cruelty charges

State Police arrested Matthew J. Peston, age 32, from 142 Rainbow Shores Road in Richland, for Criminal Possession of Stolen Property 5th degree, a class “A” misdemeanor; Making a punishable false written statement, a class “A” misdemeanor; and (6) counts of Torturing or Injuring animals-failure to provide sustenance, a class “A” misdemeanor.

On March 4, 2017, Trooper Abigail Viens responded to 142 Rainbow Shores Road in Richland regarding a missing vehicle from the property. A family member reported a 2004 van missing from the family’s estate and believed Matthew Peston may have taken it without authority. While investing the missing vehicle, the family member also reported a possible animal cruelty case inside the residence regarding cats.

Trooper Viens obtained veterinarian records showing that before Peston’s mother passed away, there were 27 healthy cats that had up-to-date health records. It appears Matthew, who was living in the basement, was only feeding the cats sporadically.

Troopers were able to locate six cats and transported them to the vet. One of the six cats had to be euthanized and the remaining five were found to have no food in their digestive tract. The investigation
revealed that most of the cats perished before police discovered the situation inside the residence. The remaining cats were taken to PAWs and Effect in Oswego, where they will be placed temporarily until adopted.

Peston was issued an appearance ticket and is scheduled to appear in Richland Town Court March 16, 2017, at 7 p.m.

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