A Levittown man arrested last year has been indicted on a series of animal cruelty charges, including the torturing and injuring of animals, after authorities said he used a shovel to beat his 11-year-old German shepherd so severely in December that the dog had to be euthanized.
Michael Gallagher, 56, was arraigned Tuesday before acting Supreme Court Justice Teresa Corrigan on charges of aggravated cruelty to animals; attempted aggravated cruelty to animals; overdriving, torturing and injuring animals — failure to provide proper sustenance; and attempted overdriving, torturing and injuring animals — failure to provide proper sustenance. Gallagher pleaded not guilty and prior bail was continued at $300,000 bond or $150,000 cash bail.
“This defendant is accused of truly despicable cruelty that fatally wounded his innocent and helpless 11-year-old dog, Bella,” Nassau County District Attorney Madeline Singas said in a statement, adding: “We know from studies and experience that those who commit crimes against animals are more likely to perpetrate violence against people, and my office is committed to prosecuting these heinous offenses aggressively.”
Authorities said that about 3 p.m. on Dec. 23, Gallagher placed the female dog inside a black plastic bag and was seen by witnesses striking the animal “repeatedly” in the head with a metal shovel.
Singas said Gallagher also was seen placing a zip tie around the dog’s neck.
Neighbors confronted Gallagher and called 911 before he stopped the beating, Singas said.
Witnesses soon realized the dog was still alive, seeing her head “move slightly,” Singas said. At about the same time, Singas said, Gallagher’s wife returned home — and cut the zip tie from the dog’s neck, rushing the German shepherd to the nearby East Village Green Animal Hospital.
After finding Bella had blood and tissue seeping from her head wounds, the veterinarian determined her wounds were fatal and euthanized the dog to prevent pain and suffering, Singas said.
Gallagher is scheduled to return to court on March 21.