Schenectady County

Schenectady man gets year in jail for beating dog, taping muzzle shut

A Schenectady man who admitted to a misdemeanor animal cruelty charge was sentenced to a year in jai

A city man who admitted to a misdemeanor animal cruelty charge was sentenced to a year in jail this week, officials said.

The plea deal also included an admission in an unrelated case that he made a veiled threat to a town judge in a phone call, a prosecutor said.

Michael S. Perillo, 42, formerly of Albany Street, pleaded guilty in July to the misdemeanor count of torturing or injuring animals.

He was sentenced Tuesday to one year in jail.

Perillo was arrested in March for allegedly beating a Great Dane named Oliver, punching it and taping its mouth shut with duct tape, officials with the Schenectady County Society to Prevent Cruelty to Animals said.

Responding officers found a large amount of blood on the front porch. They found the dog with severe damage to its mouth and jaw and said it also may have suffered a fractured skull. Perillo admitted to beating the dog and said that he did so after the dog nipped at him, according to the officers.

Prosecutor Jessica Lorusso said Wednesday that an important part of the deal was for Perillo to also plead guilty in Rotterdam to an aggravated harassment charge.

That charge related to a veiled threat Perillo made to Glenville Town Justice Brian Mercy last winter, after Mercy arraigned Perillo on another harassment charge.

Lorusso said evidence in the dog case helped lead to the plea agreement.

“I felt that the case was strong, with respect to the abuse,” she said. “Given the nature and nastiness, I felt that the deal should go forward.”

Perillo, who was represented by attorney James Tyner, is barred from owning animals for three years. Officers said he told them that he received the dog from a friend to watch while the friend was in jail.

Officials with the SPCA commended the Schenectady County District Attorney’s Office for its handling of the case.

“This goes to show that animal cruelty will not be tolerated in our county. This is a wake-up call to anyone out there guilty of this,” county SPCA Chief Mathew Tully said in a statement Wednesday.

Oliver has since recovered and is living with a new family.

In an unrelated cruelty case dating back to March, a man accused of leaving three cats without nourishment for days is to be sentenced today to three years of probation.

Compared with the Perillo case, the case against Smith wasn’t as strong, Lorusso said. In Smith’s case, there were proof issues over whether Smith was the one supposed to be caring for the cats.

Nonetheless, Smith pleaded guilty earlier in the summer to torturing or injuring animals.

Smith was accused of leaving the cats without food in a second-floor apartment on State Street in Schenectady. Two of the cats died. The third lived, but appeared to have turned to the carcasses of the dead cats to survive.

The Schenectady, Schoharie and Saratoga County SPCAs had sought Smith for days, after discovering the cats that day as a result of a hotline tip. Smith was arrested in March.

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