Man accused of freezing puppy to death appears in court

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HIGHLAND HEIGHTS, Ohio (WJW)– The man accused of torturing his ex-girlfriend’s dog to death appeared in court Thursday morning.


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Phillip Savelli, 34, is charged with three counts of cruelty against a companion animal. He pleaded not guilty and his bond was set at $10,000. He was ordered to have no contact with the dog’s owner and not to possess any animals.

Phillip Savelli (Photo courtesy: Highland Heights police)

Police were called to the woman’s home in Highland Heights on June 3 for the incident. Amy Beichler,┬áthe director of the Public Animal Welfare Society of Ohio, said Savelli repeatedly dunked a 10-month-old Yorkie in water and put it in the freezer until the dog was dead.


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“I never know why people do the cruel things that they do to helpless, innocent, voiceless animals. But to do this to this owner and this owner’s family. There’s now a 4-year-old child that doesn’t have Coco any longer,” Beichler said.

Goddard’s Law, named for the late FOX 8 meteorologist Dick Goddard, was passed in 2016, making it a fifth-degree felony to cause physical harm to a companion animal. Beichler said Senate Bill 164 would elevate those charges to a violent offense, which would mean more jail time.

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