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Posted on: April 14, 2017

Uniondale Man Arrested for Burning and Beating Girlfriend’s Cat

Santiago, Giovanni

The black and white female calico suffered teeth fractures, scarring and a broken tail

MINEOLA, N.Y. – Nassau County District Attorney Madeline Singas announced that a Uniondale man was arraigned today on indictment charges related to repeatedly subjecting his girlfriend’s cat to cruel acts and serious physical injury.

Giovanni Santiago, 20, was arraigned today before Acting Supreme Court Justice Patricia Harrington on charges of:

  • Criminal Mischief in the 2nd Degree (a D felony)
  • Aggravated Cruelty to Animals (an unclassified felony)
  • Overdriving, Torturing and Injuring Animals (an A misdemeanor)

Santiago, Giovanni

The defendant was conditionally released to probation and was ordered to not have contact with any animal. The NCDA requested $50,000 cash bail or bond. The defendant is due back in court May 9 and if convicted of the top count faces up to 2-1/3 years to seven years in prison.

“This defendant is accused of truly despicable and depraved acts of animal cruelty which left a helpless cat with permanent disfiguring injuries,” DA Singas said. “Because there is a correlation between animal abuse and violence toward people, I will continue to advocate for tougher penalties for animal crimes. I commend the veterinarian who brought us this case and the members of our Animal Crimes Unit for their hard work and dedication.”

DA Singas said that from September 2, 2016 to December 8, 2016, the defendant allegedly subjected his girlfriend’s cat, named Verona, to multiple blunt force traumas and burned the animal on her back. During that time Verona suffered multiple fractures to her tail vertebrae, broken and fractured teeth, facial swelling, abdominal and pelvic bruising, small puncture wounds, scabbing and loss of fur.

The defendant’s girlfriend brought the cat to Long Island Animal Hospital multiple times during the period of the alleged abuse for treatment. A veterinarian contacted the NCDA Animal Crimes Unit to report the injuries on December 8, 2016. NCDA investigators found that the defendant was regularly alone with the cat and had his own key to his girlfriend’s apartment. NCDA investigators also determined the girlfriend was not aware the defendant was allegedly inflicting trauma to Verona and she believed that the cat was suffering from an autoimmune disease.

Veterinary services for Verona totaled $2,483.45. The cat has suffered permanent tail disfigurement and there will be permanent scarring on a portion of Verona’s left side, where fur will never be able to grow back.

Verona is being treated at the North Shore Animal League and will be placed under adoption once she is fully recovered from her injuries.

ADA Erin Satterthwaite of DA Singas’ Animal Crimes Unit is prosecuting this case. The defendant is represented by Tatiana Miranda, Esq.

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

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