Richard Cope extradition process begins as Chance Christmas puppy recovers

Police are working to get a Michigan City man suspected of animal abuse extradited to Indiana from Texas.

Richard Cope was arrested Sunday, Jan. 31, in Texas and the LaPorte County Sheriff’s Office said it will cost $1,100 to have a private company transport him from El Paso to Michigan City, according to the South Bend Tribune.

Hiring the private company would be less expensive than paying two officers to travel and retrieve him themselves, Capt. Mike Kellems told the Tribune.

Cope, 50, is accused of breaking the hips of a pitbull puppy and taping its muzzle shut. The puppy, who has come to be known as Chance Christmas, was found by a neighbor on Christmas Day 2015.

Chance Christmas underwent several surgeries and has been recovering with a foster family.

Cope was charged in January with one count each of torturing or mutilating an animal and cruelty to an animal and two counts of animal neglect and abandonment.

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