Pietro Bottino, 68, was charged with animal cruelty after witnesses saw him allegedly punching his dog in the parking lot of New Jersey's Monmouth County Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals on Friday afternoon reported Monday's NJ.com.
Two staff members witnessed Bottino beating his one-year-old Belgian shepherd and ran out to pull the dog to safety.
An Eatontown police officer charged Bottino with animal cruelty.
Chief of the law enforcement division, Victor "Buddy" Amato seized the dog who was not seriously hurt. For some unknown reason, Bottino "lost his temper" and started to punch the dog.
The dog named Turilo will be placed in foster care until a judge decides. A November court date is scheduled.
Bottino has apologized. If found guilty, he faces a maximum fine of $2,000 and a ban on animal ownership.
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