District Attorney

Posted on: February 21, 2017

Levittown Man Indicted for Animal Cruelty Charges for Allegedly Beating Dog in Head with a Shovel

Michael Gallagher

Michael Gallagher is also accused of placing a zip tie around the dog’s neck

MINEOLA, N.Y. – Nassau County District Attorney Madeline Singas announced that a Levittown man was arraigned today on indictment charges related to beating his dog with a shovel in Dec. 2016. The dog was so severely beaten it had to be euthanized.

Michael Gallagher, 56, was arraigned today before Acting Supreme Court Justice Teresa Corrigan on charges of:
• Aggravated Cruelty to Animals (an E Felony)• Attempted Aggravated Cruelty to Animals (an A misdemeanor)
• Overdriving, Torturing and Injuring Animals; Failure to Provide Proper Sustenance (an A misdemeanor)• Attempted Overdriving, Torturing and Injuring Animals; Failure to Provide Proper Sustenance (a B misdemeanor)

The defendant pleaded not guilty and is due back in court on March 21. If convicted of the top count, the defendant faces a maximum of two years in jail. Bail was continued at $300,000 bond or $150,000 cash.

“This defendant is accused of truly despicable cruelty that fatally wounded his innocent and helpless 11 year-old dog, Bella” DA Singas said. “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.”

DA Singas said on Dec. 23 at approximately 3 p.m., the defendant allegedly placed his family dog, Bella, an 11-year-old female Shepherd mix, inside a black plastic bag and was observed by witnesses repeatedly striking the dog in the head with a metal shovel. The defendant was also allegedly observed placing a zip tie around the dog’s neck. Neighbors then called 911 and confronted the defendant who then stopped the alleged beating.

Immediately following the incident, witnesses realized that Bella was still alive after seeing her head move slightly. At around that time, the defendant’s wife arrived home and immediately cut the zip tie from the dog’s neck and rushed her to East Village Green Animal Hospital. The veterinarian determined that the injuries, which included blood and tissue coming out of her head, were fatal, and euthanized the dog to prevent any further pain and suffering.

ADA Erin Satterthwaite of DA Singas’ Animal Crimes Unit is prosecuting this case. Gallagher is represented by Lawrence Carra, Esq.

The charges are merely accusations and the defendant is presumed innocent until and unless found guilty.

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