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Luzerne County judge sentences man to prison for 'heinous' animal cruelty crime

A Luzerne County court judge called Saullo's crime "heinous" in the torturous death of a three-year-old dog.
A Luzerne County court judge called Saullo's crime "heinous" in the torturous death of a three-year-old dog.
Joe Raedle/Getty Images

In Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania, Gino Anthony Saullo Sr. will be spending from six months to one year in prison for a despicable animal cruelty crime in the torturous death of his nephew's three-year-old mixed breed dog named Pumpkin reported

On Friday a judge at the Luzerne County Courthouse sentenced Saullo to prison in addition to a fine of $350 restitution, and 30 hours of community service calling Saullo actions "heinous."

The dog was found hanging from a retaining wall with a drop of four feet while Pumpkin's leash had been tied to the wheels of a dumpster. A judge found Saullo guilty of felony animal cruelty in June. The dog belonged to Saullo's nephew.

In March 2013, Pumpkin had accidentally scratched Shawn's stepdaughter, and Saullo told the family he was taking the dog for a walk to calm Pumpkin down. When the dog was later found dead, Saullo told authorities he had been walking the dog along the side of the road when the dog jumped off the retaining wall. He stated he tried to pull the dog up by its leash, and Pumpkin died.

An investigation into the brutal death of Pumpkin continued when a witness found Pumpkin's tortured body describing a heart wrenching scene:

"The poor dog was full of blood; his mouth, his paws, even his ear. To me, it looked like the dog was tortured."

Saullo's nephew, Shawn was at the courthouse on Friday and was glad that his uncle has been sent to jail. Shawn called Pumpkin a great dog and stated the dog had been a devoted and beloved part of his family.

Rest in peace Pumpkin. At least you found some justice for your early and senseless death.

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