BUFFALO, N.Y. (WIVB) — A Buffalo man isn’t allowed to own or care for any animals for the next five years after the Erie County District Attorney’s office says he killed a puppy and severely injured another.
Four days after Christmas 2021, authorities say Joelier Santiago, now 21, injured the dogs inside an apartment on Louisiana Street. Both were Maltese puppies — a 2-month-old and a 10-month-old.
The 2-month-old dog was taken to an emergency clinic, where he was unresponsive, before being transferred to the critical care unit of another.
“A veterinarian determined that ‘Milo’ suffered severe bruising caused by excessive force,” the Erie County District Attorney’s office said.
Since then, Milo has recovered and returned to his owner, but the other dog, Nala, was not as fortunate.
Nala died from her injuries, which according to her necropsy, were the result of blunt force trauma caused by excessive force.
Santiago later pleaded guilty to two counts of overdriving, torturing and injuring animals; failure to provide proper sustenance in March 2023.
On Thursday morning, Santiago received a one-year conditional discharge. He was also ordered to perform 360 hours of community service.
Additionally, Santiago was referred to the Court Outreach Unit: Referral and Treatment Services (COURTS) program for a mental health evaluation.
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Evan Anstey is an Associated Press Award, JANY Award and Emmy-nominated digital producer who has been part of the News 4 team since 2015. See more of his work here and follow him on Twitter.