A Levittown man has been arraigned on indictment charges related to beating his dog with a shovel in December 2016. The dog, a female Shephard mix named Bella, was reportedly severely beaten by her owner, 56-year-old Michael Gallagher, and had to be euthanized.
According to witnesses, Gallagher placed his dog in a black plastic bag on Dec. 23, 2016 at around 3 p.m. Gallagher then allegedly struck his dog’s head repeatedly, using a metal shovel, and placed a zip tie around its neck. Neighbors then called the police and confronted Gallagher, at which point he stopped the alleged beating.
“This defendant is accused of truly despicable cruelty that fatally wounded his innocent and helpless 11-year-old dog Bella,” said Madeline Singas, the Nassau County district attorney. “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.”
Immediately following the incident, witnesses realized that Bella was still alive after reportedly seeing her head move slightly. At around that time, Gallagher’s wife is said to have arrived home and immediately cut the zip tie from Bella’s neck, rushing her to East Village Green Animal Hospital. The veterinarian determined that Bella’s injuries, which included blood and tissue coming out of her head, were fatal, and euthanized her to prevent any further pain and suffering.
Gallagher is facing charges of aggravated cruelty to animals and overdriving, torturing and injuring animals with failure to provide proper sustenance, among other accusations. He pleaded not guilty and is due back in court on March 21. If convicted of the top count, Gallagher faces a maximum of two years in jail. Bail was continued at $300,000 bond or $150,000 cash.