NEW BEDFORD — A New Bedford man with a prior conviction for aggravated rape is now facing a felony animal cruelty charge, after allegedly beating his girlfriend's elderly dog until he was paralyzed.

Court documents show 38-year-old Brandon St. Don is charged with one count of animal cruelty following the Dec. 9 incident.

New Bedford police wrote in a report that a woman told officers she saw her boyfriend, St. Don, beat her 15-year-old dog, allegedly causing him trauma to his head and body.

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The dog — an 11-pound terrier — was rushed to a hospital in Swansea following the incident, according to the police report.

The report notes the dog was paralyzed from the waist down.

WBSM will not publish the name of the dog, per our policy to protect victims' identities.

St. Don lives on Acushnet Avenue and has a criminal record that includes multiple arrests on a variety of charges.

He was also convicted for aggravated rape of a 13-year-old girl in Fairhaven in 2001, when he was 17 years old.

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