SPRINGFIELD, Vt. (NEWS10) – A former trooper with the Vermont State Police, Zachary Gauthier, 31, of Weathersfield, was cited Tuesday morning on suspicion of animal cruelty and perjury. According to an affidavit of probable cause, in December 2021, Gauthier punched his family’s dog and broke a knuckle on his hand in doing so.

While under oath during a February 24, 2022, court hearing in an unrelated proceeding, police say Gauthier lied about suffering the injury to his hand. Investigators also determined he lied while under oath about the presence of alcohol in a car he was driving that crashed on October 30, 2021.

Additionally, the Springfield Police Department on Tuesday cited Gauthier on a charge of violating an abuse prevention order. Following consultation by the Vermont State Police with the Washington County State’s Attorney’s Office, Gauthier was cited to appear at 12:30 p.m. on April 19 in the Criminal Division of Vermont Superior Court in White River Junction. The case was handled by a detective sergeant assigned to State Police headquarters with help from the Attorney’s Office, to ensure investigators were from outside the area where Gauthier used to work.

Gauthier had been assigned as a detective trooper at the Westminster Barracks. He was placed on paid relief from duty earlier this year and resigned the week of April 11.

The Vermont State Police is unable to comment further on the case. The affidavit of probable cause will be filed with the court and made public following Gauthier’s arraignment.