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Gloucester man who gutted dog to retrieve drugs sentenced to jail

John "Jack" Dugan holding hands with then-girlfriend in court in 2012.
John "Jack" Dugan holding hands with then-girlfriend in court in 2012.
Gloucester Times

John “Jack” Dugan, 28, was sentenced to two and a half years in prison on drug and animal cruelty charges Thursday May 29, 2014 after pleading guilty in court, according to the Boston Herald. Dugan was accused of torturing, tormenting and abusing his one and half year old pit bull, Xena, while she was alive and cutting her open to retrieve his drugs that she swallowed once she was dead.

Dugan was ordered to serve 18 months of the two and a half sentence while the balance is suspended, with probation, for three years, according to the Gloucester Times. Though Dugan may be eligible for parole immediately. Judge Timothy Feeley felt jail time and probation was appropriate for the charges. Since Xena was deceased before Dugan cut her open, that action could not be taken into account for sentencing.

In December 2012, Dugan was arrested after a passerby discovered the body of Xena sliced open with her insides missing, according to the Gloucester Times. The dog's entrails were found in a plastic bag in a nearby dumpster.

According to police, Xena had swallowed a bag of heroin, later to be reported as cocaine, as well as unpackaged heroin, and subsequently died of an overdose. Dugan gutted Xena in order to retrieve the bagged drug. He then discarded her body over a fence.

Another pit bull, Damion, was seized from his property. According to the Salem News, prosecutor Karen Hoopwood reported that Dugan's ex-girlfriend told police that Dugan would frequently hit both dogs and that Xena almost choked to death on exercise equipment a week before she died.

Dugan is no stranger to the court system – he served two years at the age of 17 for vehicular homicide and was charged with animal cruelty in 2007 for breaking the legs of his past girlfriend’s dog in what was described as “a fit of rage,” according to the Salem News. He has seen other charges over the last four years as well.

When Dugan is released, he has been banned from living or working with any animal, must submit to random drug and mental health screenings, according to the Boston Herald.

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