Abandoned Animals: Missoula Man Faces Charges of Animal Cruelty and Drug Possession

A Missoula man is arrested for leaving animals outside in freezing temperatures and possessing dangerous drugs.

In a shocking incident that unfolded on November 27, 2023, a Missoula Police Department officer responded to a distressing report of abandoned animals left outside a residence. The animals, including seven geckos and a kitten, were allegedly dumped on the lawn by the owner’s boyfriend, Dennis Cregan. This act of cruelty not only endangered the lives of innocent creatures but also led to Cregan facing additional charges of drug possession. This article delves into the details of the incident, the rescue efforts, and the legal consequences Cregan now faces.

Officers Arrive at the Residence

Upon arrival at the residence on Arcadia Drive, officers encountered a friend of the animals’ owner, who had come to retrieve them. The front lawn was strewn with children’s toys, a painting, boxes, and other household items. Most concerning was the sight of a tipped-over glass terrarium with a digital thermometer, indicating that the animals had been exposed to the freezing temperatures.

Officers Search for the Animals

With the immediate concern of the animals’ welfare, officers embarked on a search to locate and rescue them. One officer discovered a lethargic gecko hiding under a leaf, while two more were found under discarded items in the yard. These geckos, though alive, were also lethargic due to the cold. The friend took the rescued animals to her truck, where they were placed in front of a heater for warmth. Unfortunately, three geckos could not be located during the search.

In a stroke of luck, an officer noticed movement under a small table on the front porch and found a small tan kitten matching the description of the abandoned animal. The kitten was promptly retrieved and handed over to the friend, who placed it with the other animals in her truck. Despite the officers’ continued efforts, the remaining three geckos could not be found.

Cregan Faces More Charges

Following the rescue operation, the focus shifted to holding Dennis Cregan accountable for his actions. Cregan was informed of his arrest and read his Miranda rights. During the subsequent interview, he admitted to intentionally abandoning the animals, fully aware of their cold-blooded nature and their need for appropriate ambient temperatures to survive. Cregan confessed to throwing out at least seven geckos, stating that he had no intention of caring for them. Additionally, a search of his property revealed a container of Adderall pills, a schedule II stimulant drug, which led to further charges of felony criminal possession of dangerous drugs.

Conclusion: The heart-wrenching incident in Missoula, Montana, involving the abandonment of animals in freezing temperatures has not only sparked outrage but also led to legal consequences for Dennis Cregan. His callous act of leaving the geckos and kitten outside endangered their lives and violated the trust placed in him as their caretaker. As the legal proceedings unfold, it is a stark reminder of the importance of responsible pet ownership and the need for swift action against acts of animal cruelty. The rescued animals, though traumatized, are now in safe hands, while Cregan awaits his day in court, facing charges of cruelty to animals and felony drug possession.


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