Training Facility Operators Accused Of Abuse, Neglect, And Killing Of Dogs Who They Deemed ‘Useless’

Published: May 27, 2022 at 04:59 PM Author: PENNY EIMS

Naugatuck, Connecticut – Three men who ran a professional dog training facility in Naugatuck are facing multiple charges for abusing and killing dogs who were deemed “useless” for work or adoption. One of the men, identified by the Naugatuck Police Department as David Rivera Jr., is a police officer (currently on leave pending results of the investigation) for New Canaan.

The training facility where at least 10 dogs were allegedly shot and killed is Black Rock Canines.

The other men tied to the killings and abuse are identified as Daniel Luna (DOB 03/20/1989) and David Rivera, Sr. (DOB 06/11/1964). Luna is reported to be a former police officer.

A news release from the authorities outlines the allegations against Daniel Luna, the General Manager at the training facility:

(Luna) had abused numerous puppies and dogs during his time of employment at Black Rock Canines facility. Daniel Luna’s mistreatment and abuse of these animals included the shooting of dogs which were deemed no longer viable for the business. Witnesses also stated that Daniel Luna’s lack of adequate care led to the death of puppies who had been left exposed to harsh weather elements.

An employee told investigators how Luna killed the “useless” dogs, stating that “He killed them by putting the food bowl down and then he shot them in the back of the head. After he pushed the dead dogs in the hole, he would shoot them again.” Luna allegedly threatened to kill that worker if she called the police.

The accusations these men face reach beyond the abuse and killing of dogs. The authorities allege that military-grade high explosives were being unlawfully stored on the property, and David Rivera Sr. is accused of threatening one current and one former employee with a knife.

As the police investigated the horrifying situation, past customers of the training facility came forward with their own reports of abuse. Court documents state that “One individual reported that their canine went there for training and had to be put down and was offered a puppy as payment.”

One man took his Labrador retriever to the facility for a 20-day training session, and by the time the training ended, she had burns on her neck from a shock collar, a double ear infection, and had lost approximately 10 pounds. Her owner, Nick Perugini, was so upset about his dog’s condition that he filed a complaint with the police.

Former employees told the authorities that the dogs trained at Black Rock Canines were treated “inhumanely.” Per the warrant, one person said that he saw videos taken by other employees showing dogs with blood dripping from their heads, whip marks, scars, and burn marks.

The accusations against these men are appalling. Please add your name to the petition today as we fight for justice for each and every dog who suffered and died at this training facility.

We the undersigned demand that David Rivera Jr., David Rivera Sr., and Daniel Luna are held responsible for the abuse and killing of dogs who were at the Black Rock Canines training facility. We are petitioning for these men to receive the maximum punishment allowable by law, in addition to being prohibited from owning or residing with animals in the future.

David Rivera Jr. has surrendered ownership of the 31 dogs who were seized from the training facility; the dogs are being cared for at an undisclosed shelter and are not currently available for adoption.

Note: Individuals are presumed innocent until being found guilty in a court of law. Animal Victory relies upon the authorities and the court system to determine guilt or innocence.



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Rivera Sr Luna Rivera Jr


Rivera Sr

Update 4/12/2024: David Rivera Sr.’s case has been statutorily sealed. The next hearing for David Rivera Jr.  is 7/03/2024 at 10:00 a.m. The hearing will be held at Waterbury Geographical Area 4, 400 Grand Street, Waterbury, CT, 06702.

Update 11/9/2023: Animal Victory sent petition to the DA. 

Update 10/25/2023: David Rivera Sr.’s case has been statutorily sealed. David Rivera Jr. is set for pre-trial on 12-11-2023 at 10 a.m.

Daniel Luna is set for pre-trial on 10-26-2023 at 10 a.m

Both cases are being held in courtroom Waterbury GA4 at 400 Grand Street, Waterbury CT, 06702

Update 5/11/2023: Updated court schedule for all three defendants. Rivera Sr. is scheduled for 6/13/2023 at 10 am, Rivera Jr. is scheduled 5/18/2023 at 10 am, and Luna is scheduled for 7/11/2023 at 10 am.

Update 5/11/2023: Animal Victory sent cover letter and petition to the judge. 

Update 1/27/2023: David Rivera Sr. is scheduled for court on 2/23/2023 at 10 a.m. to enter his plea. David Rivera Jr. is scheduled for court on 2/02/2023 at 10 a.m. titled “Pre-Trial,” and Luna is scheduled for court on 2/17/2023 at 10 a.m. to enter his plea.

Update 12/29/2022: David Rivera Sr. is scheduled for court on 01/23/2023 at 10 a.m. titled “awaiting plea.”

Update 10/20/2022: Court dates are as follows:

Luna 12/13/2022 at 10 am titled ‘Awaiting Plea’ Luna (1)

Rivera Sr. (64′) 12/19/2022 at 10 am titled “Awaiting Plea) David Rivera 64

Rivera Jr. (87′) 11/28/2022 at 10 am titled “Pre-Trial’ David Rivera 87

Update 9/13/2022: The next scheduled court date for defendant Rivera Jr. is set for October 11, 2022, at 10 a.m. 

Rivera Jr.

Update 8/1/2022: Each defendant has been given separate court dates. David Rivera Sr.’s next court date is scheduled for September 12th at 10 a.m. for a plea. David Rivera Jr.’s next court date is on August 17th at 10 a.m. for pre-trial. He has pleaded not guilty. Daniel Luna’s next court date is August 25th at 10 a.m. to enter a plea. 

Rivera_ David 64

Rivera_ David 87

Luna_ Daniel

Update 6/22/2022: Animal Victory has sent 14,032 signatures to Prosecuting Attorney Maureen Platt

Prior Signatures 14,531

Training Facility Operators Accused Of Abuse, Neglect, And Killing Of Dogs Who They Deemed ‘Useless’

813 signatures = 4% of goal

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Latest Signatures
813 Caroline B. 0 Jun 22, 2024
812 Caroline B. 0 Jun 22, 2024
811 Sue S. 0 Jun 10, 2024
810 carmel e. Throw these monsters in prison and let them rot. They deserve to suffer and die! What a waste of space! 0 Jun 09, 2024
809 luke A. 0 Jun 02, 2024
808 Kim J. Shoot these maggots in the face. 0 May 28, 2024
807 Samantha H. 0 May 19, 2024
806 HELENA H. 0 May 19, 2024
805 Jennifer J. 0 May 17, 2024
804 lina v. We want JUSTICE for all the poor dogs that suffered and died because of these evil people! These cowards belong in hell! 0 May 16, 2024
803 val v. These dirty people must die! We want justice for all the poor dogs that suffered because of these evil devils!! 0 May 16, 2024
802 alexandra v. OMG, poor precious dogs, what a tragedy....PLEASE MAKE THESE EVIL PEOPLE PAY!!! Kill them and throw them in hell, the place where they belong!!! 0 May 16, 2024
801 Valentina V. Hang these useless people! They deserve to rot in hell ASAP!!! 0 May 16, 2024
800 kira v. These poor dogs deserve justice! These ugly men are sadists of the worst kind, KILL THEM!!! 0 May 16, 2024
799 Adriaan F. These cruel cowards must pay! Hang them! We want justice for these poor precious dogs! 0 May 16, 2024
798 johan v. Kill these evil people and make them bleed!! 0 May 16, 2024
797 Bonnie R. Sick, useless human beings! Send to hard work camps and make them regret what they did! These animals deserve t May 06, 2024
796 Tina W. May 02, 2024
795 Maryann K. Apr 30, 2024
794Anonymous Apr 28, 2024
793 Whitney H. Please do not let these individuals get away with this. They seem to be the type of humans that will not stop abusing animals, and likely human beings. Disgusting. Apr 28, 2024
792 Susan B. Apr 27, 2024
791 Marilyn G. Apr 26, 2024
790Anonymous Apr 26, 2024
789 Deborah Anne C. Apr 26, 2024
788 Ana J. Apr 25, 2024
787 Carolyn C. Human monsters Apr 24, 2024
786 Kelly P. Apr 24, 2024
785 Robert O. Apr 24, 2024
784 Jessica B. Apr 24, 2024
783 Kate C. Apr 24, 2024
782 Jerry S. Apr 24, 2024
781 Terry S. Apr 24, 2024
780 Robin S. Apr 23, 2024
779 Monique C. Oh wow, I have to say not only was this boldly done with many witnesses and they still carried on with it? Lock them up, and toss the key. Perhaps some solitary confinement would do some justice, a long stay into a void. Douchebags. Apr 23, 2024
778 Barbara L. Apr 23, 2024
777 Kristine K. Apr 23, 2024
776 sarah r. Apr 22, 2024
775 Sarah Anna W. Apr 22, 2024
774 Sunny G. These cowards deserve nothing but four walls the rest of their lives Apr 22, 2024
773 Mary W. These men are brutal criminals who have abused people and animals. You must find it in your hearts and in the law to stop them from the violence they are coming. They are going after the witnesses now, protect them. Apr 22, 2024
772 Ashley G. Apr 22, 2024
771 Patricia S. Apr 22, 2024
770 Darlene D. Apr 22, 2024
769 Theresa R. Apr 21, 2024
768 Edward D. Apr 21, 2024
767 Nena M. Every one of these perverted, disgusting losers should be put in prison Apr 21, 2024
766 Laurie M. Apr 21, 2024
765 Freya H. Apr 20, 2024
764 Dayna M. Apr 20, 2024