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

Published: May 27, 2022 at 12:59 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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Hartford Courant

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

14,441 signatures = 72% of goal


14,441 John Robertson Nov 30, 2022
14,440 matilde damian Nov 20, 2022
14,439 Lisel Sipes Those three morons look useless to me. Shoot them, please. Nov 19, 2022
14,438 Dana Dykes Nov 19, 2022
14,437 Elisabeth Jost Nov 18, 2022
14,436 Christina Roop Nov 16, 2022
14,435 Jocelyn Warburton Nov 07, 2022
14,434 B(IceWolf) C Nov 06, 2022
14,433 RHONDA BRONG Nov 05, 2022
14,432 Wendy Anderson Nov 04, 2022
14,431 Amy Ong Oct 28, 2022
14,430 Claire Sefiane Oct 23, 2022
14,429 Paul Serrano Oct 23, 2022
14,428 Irene Murray These demons must face prison time minimum five years each! Hefty fines money to give to the humane society!! Banned for life of being near animals!! They are a menace to society! Oct 23, 2022
14,427 Lisa Cairns Oct 19, 2022
14,426 Denise Carlson Oct 17, 2022
14,425 Tanya Barsoumian Oct 17, 2022
14,424 Rhonda Myers Arrest these men and throw away the key. This is disgusting and horrible what they did to these poor dogs. Oct 15, 2022
14,423 Louis BALLY Quelqu’un qui s’est habitué à considérer la vie de n’importe quelle créature vivante comme sans valeur, finit par penser qu’une vie humaine ne vaut rien. Albert Schweitzer Oct 15, 2022
14,422 Lucette BALLY Quelqu’un qui s’est habitué à considérer la vie de n’importe quelle créature vivante comme sans valeur, finit par penser qu’une vie humaine ne vaut rien. Albert Schweitzer Oct 15, 2022
14,421 Carolina Pino Oct 15, 2022
14,420 Jane Miller Oct 11, 2022
14,419 Mirlan Bayaman Oct 09, 2022
14,418 Shannon Nichols Oct 07, 2022
14,417 Martine Dauguet Oct 07, 2022
14,416 Rebecca Drywater Throw th I'm jail and give them the same treatment they gave the dogs Oct 06, 2022
14,415 Chloe Houghton Oct 06, 2022
14,414 Julie Goss Oct 04, 2022
14,413 Sabrina Stevens It’s horrifying to know that so many EVIL people exist!!! Oct 04, 2022
14,412 michele largman Oct 02, 2022

Rivera Sr Luna Rivera Jr


Rivera Sr

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