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Long IslandCrime

Levittown man accused of animal cruelty, Nassau police say

A Levittown man was arrested and charged with animal cruelty after a neighbor saw him abusing his dog on his front lawn Friday afternoon, Dec. 23, 2016, and called authorities. Nassau County police said Michael Gallagher, 56, was seen leading the dog, a Shepherd mix, onto the front lawn, placing a zip tie around the dog's neck and putting the dog in a garbage bag before beating it with a shovel. Gallagher was arrested and charged with aggravated cruelty to an animal and torturing or injuring an animal. Unfortunately veterinarians at a Levittown hospital couldn't save the dog and it was euthanized. (Credit: Jim Staubitser; Photo Credit: Howard Schnapp)

A Levittown man was arrested Friday after he attempted to suffocate his dog and struck it with a shovel on his front lawn, Nassau County police said.

Police said a neighbor spotted Michael Gallagher, 56, of Silversmith Lane, bring his shepherd mix onto the front lawn, place a zip tie around the dog’s neck and put the dog in a garbage bag about 2:45 p.m. Friday.

The neighbor told police that Gallagher then picked up a shovel and struck the bag with it. When the neighbor confronted Gallagher, he fled the scene, police said.

The neighbor freed the dog and removed the zip tie, then took the dog to a Levittown animal hospital for treatment of a severe cut to its head. Police said veterinarians there couldn’t save the dog and euthanized it.

The dog was treated at East Village Green Animal Hospital in Levittown, according to the Nassau Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals.

Police said they found Gallagher at a nearby 7-Eleven at 10:45 p.m. He was placed under arrest and brought to the Nassau SPCA for processing.

Gallagher was charged with aggravated cruelty to animals and torturing or injuring animals or failure to provide sustenance.

He pleaded not guilty at his arraignment Saturday at First District Court in Hempstead. Bail was set at $300,000 bond or $150,000 cash.

With John Asbury

CORRECTION: An earlier version of this story misstated the name of the animal hospital.

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