A Dix Hills man who police say beat the family dog repeatedly with an aluminum baseball bat has been charged with aggravated cruelty to animals.
The Labrador mix named Beauty was severely injured in the Dec. 22 attack and had to be euthanized Saturday morning, Suffolk police said.
Police arrested Steven Errante, 26, in Mastic on Friday after determining that the dog had sustained head and facial fractures, a broken leg and blunt-force injuries to her body.
"I basically beat the dog with the bat," Errante told authorities, according to court papers.
Further investigation revealed that Errante also assaulted his father on Oct. 5, said police, who also charged him in that case.
At Errante's arraignment Saturday at First District Court in Central Islip, a prosecutor said Errante hit his father with a police-style baton, breaking a rib.
Errante was ordered held on $35,000 cash bail or $75,000 bond.
His lawyer, Mary Elizabeth Abbate of North Babylon, said Errante served in the Army and had been receiving treatment at a veterans hospital before his arrest. Abbate did not specify what medical condition Errante was being treated for.
Errante struck Beauty several times with the bat sometime between midnight and 5 a.m. on Dec. 22, said Det. Sgt. John O'Sullivan.
Officers were called to the house by a family member.
"She was barely breathing," O'Sullivan said of the dog. "She was barely alive."
He called the beating "one of the most horrific cases of animal abuse I've ever seen inflicted on a dog."
Beauty was taken to a local veterinarian's office and later transferred to Veterinary Medical Center of Long Island in West Islip.
Asked what sparked the attack, O'Sullivan said only that Errante has made statements to police and "that information will eventually come out as this case progresses."
O'Sullivan said the suspect didn't show "any clear remorse or sorrow" for the beating.
Beauty had been in Errante's possession for several months, O'Sullivan said, but it wasn't immediately clear if he was the dog's owner.
The investigation is continuing. Anyone with information is asked to call Second Squad detectives at 631-854-8252.