Missoula, MT (KGVO-AM News) - On November 27, 2023, at approximately 5:13 p.m., a Missoula Police Department Officer was dispatched to contact a female regarding a report that her animals had been left outside a residence in the 2500 block of Arcadia Drive. The officer contacted her by phone and learned that she had decided to move out and leave her boyfriend 36-year-old Dennis Cregan.  

Following her leaving, she received a text message with a picture attached that showed that her seven geckos and kitten had been dumped outside on the lawn by Cregan. She expressed that she felt unsafe going to the house around Cregan, so she was going to send a friend to go and try to pick up the animals before they died. 

Officers Arrive at the Residence

Officers responded to the address, and upon arrival, they encountered the female’s friend. Shortly thereafter, Cregan emerged from the residence. The officer noticed that upon the lawn there were several children's toys, a painting, some boxes, a tipped-over glass terrarium with a digital thermometer, what appeared to be cat litter, and a few other household items spread onto the front lawn.  

The friend explained she had come to get the animals but so far could not find them. According to court documents, Cregan admitted that he left the geckos and a kitten out in the front yard. After confirming that these animals were abandoned in the 30-degree temperature, the officer informed Cregan that they were going to begin looking for them before they died. 

Officers Search for the Animals

While walking around, an officer was able to find one of the geckos curled up under a leaf that was extremely lethargic and cold to the touch. The officer collected the animal and the friend took it to her truck to be placed in front of a heater. Two more geckos were found hiding under discarded items in the yard that appeared to be alive but also lethargic. A fourth gecko was then found, and all were consolidated into a small aquarium and placed in front of a heater in the friend’s vehicle. At the conclusion of the search, three of the geckos were unable to be located. 

An officer then noticed movement under a small table on the front porch of the house. It appeared to be a small tan kitten, matching the description of the one suspected to be abandoned. The kitten was retrieved and given to the friend who placed the kitten into the truck with the other animals. She then left the house with the animals in her possession, and the officers continued to look for the remaining three geckos without success. 

Cregan Faces More Charges

After some time, the officer informed Cregan that he was under arrest and advised him of his rights under Miranda. During the interview, Cregan stated that he did understand the cold-blooded nature of the geckos and that they required sufficient ambient temperature to survive. Cregan then confirmed that there were at least 7 geckos and that he threw them out intentionally as he was not going to take care of them at all. Cregan also admitted that he was aware of the freezing temperature. 

Cregan was placed under arrest and was transported to the Missoula County Detention Center. A Detention Officer advised that upon inventory of Cregan’s property, they found a ZYN nicotine container, but instead of nicotine pouches, it contained several Adderall pills, a schedule II stimulant drug. 

Cregan is currently being charged with felony criminal possession of dangerous drugs and eight counts of cruelty to animals. 

The information in this article was obtained from sources that are publicly viewable.

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Gallery Credit: Elena Kadvany

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