Bronx man pleads guilty to abusing puppy so badly it lost leg

THE BRONX (WABC) -- A man who abused his girlfriend's puppy so badly that the animal lost a leg will be sentenced to a year in jail following a guilty plea Friday.

Bronx District Attorney Darcel Clark said 25-year-old Roberto Martinez pleaded guilty to felony aggravated cruelty.

"The defendant's abuse of an 8-month old dog culminated in a leg injury leading to amputation of the limb," Clark said. "Such inhumane actions warrant a jail sentence. We will not tolerate cruelty to defenseless animals."

The mixed-breed dog, renamed Sally, was rescued, underwent amputation and is now in a loving home. The ASPCA photo above shows her looking bright-eyed and alert, with her ears pricked up.

In September 2016, when Sally was 8 months old, Martinez lifted her to his shoulder height and slammed her to the floor. She tried to flee but couldn't walk. The dog's right hind limb was amputated on September 16, 2016.

The girlfriend told veterinarians that Sally had fallen down the stairs. Authorities also found evidence of prior abuse, including broken ribs.

ASPCA Vice President Howard Lawrence expressed gratitude to police and prosecutors.

"The ASPCA continues to be thankful for partners like the NYPD and Bronx District Attorney's Office in the fight against animal cruelty in New York City," he said. "Sassy, now named Sally, was rescued from a life of cruelty and pain, provided desperately needed medical care at the ASPCA Animal Hospital, and now has a new home thanks to this collaboration. We're grateful to the NYPD and Bronx District Attorney for bringing Sally's abuser to justice."

Martinez will be sentenced on November 15, 2017, to one year in jail, must register as an animal abuser in the state registry and is not permitted to own an animal for five years.

(The Associated Press contributed to this report)
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