FAIRHAVEN — A Fairhaven man faces charges after he allegedly abused the family dog.

Fairhaven Police were called to a home on Morton Street on June 18th after receiving a report of animal abuse at that address. Police were told that one of the residents of the home, Paulo Raposo, 45, frequently kicked and dragged a year-and-a-half old Portuguese Water Dog named "Bella." Police were also informed that Raposo burned the dog with a hot fireplace poker.

Fairhaven's Animal Control Officer responded to the home with police and removed the dog. Bella was taken to a local veterinary hospital for examination, where a veterinarian confirmed that the burns she had received were deliberate.

Last week, on July 2, Raposo voluntarily entered the Fairhaven Police Station where he was interviewed by Officer Scott Coelho. Raposo is suspected of kicking the dog and burning her with a poker from his fire pit.

Fairhaven Police have charged Raposo with cruelty to animals. The charge is now considered a felony and is punishable by up to two and a half years in prison. If convicted, Raposo will be placed on a Do Not Adopt list, prohibiting him from being eligible to adopt any pet from an animal shelter.

The dog, Bella, is currently being cared for by the Town of Fairhaven.

A criminal complaint has been issued against Raposo. He will be arraigned in Third District Court in New Bedford on August 9.