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NIAGARA FALLS – A 12th Street man turned himself in to authorities Wednesday morning for his alleged role in the abandonment of three dogs, which included a puppy that died a four days later.

Donald Ruben, 42, was charged with three counts of animal cruelty for abandonment and neglect of the three dogs. He reportedly surrendered to authorities at the Niagara Falls Police Station at 8:30 a.m. because he had been following the media coverage and knew police would be seeking him once an arrest warrant was signed, according to a report issued by the Niagara County SPCA.

The SPCA and Niagara Falls police removed the three dogs from the 12th Street apartment June 30 after receiving reports of animal neglect. The dogs were found emaciated and living in deplorable conditions. The 7-week-old puppy, who was given the name Jonah, was in critical condition. He was rushed to the shelter and later a veterinary clinic, where he died July 3.

Niagara County SPCA Director Amy Lewis released a statement saying the organization was pleased to know Jonah’s owner was in custody and will be tried for neglect.

The owner’s arrest “reassures us that his death will not be in vain. Fighting animal abuse and neglect is at the heart of our mission as an SPCA. We will be assisting authorities in every way we can,” wrote Lewis.

email: nfischer@buffnews.com