HAZLE TOWNSHIP – Troopers in Luzerne County filed animal cruelty charges against a man from Hazleton who is accused of abuse that led to the death of a mixed-breed pit bull over the weekend.
According to state police, Gino Anthony Saullo Sr. said he was walking the dog along Harwood Road around 7:30 a.m. on Saturday when the dog jumped off of a retaining wall and onto a side yard, about four feet below.
Saullo allegedly told investigators that that he repeatedly tried to lift the dog out of the yard by the leash, and that’s when the dog died.
Troopers said the dog had a choker-style collar on, and that it had a 2012 dog license from Luzerne County.
The woman who owns the property where the dog was found dead outside did not want to be identified, but told Newswatch 16 that the leash was tied to the wheels of a dumpster and that the dog was found hanging along a concrete retaining wall.
"The poor dog was full of blood; his mouth, his paws, even his ear. To me, it looked like the dog was tortured,” the woman said. “I have two dogs of my own and I love animals. It was very upsetting to see it on my property,” said the property owner.
Volunteers at the Hazleton Animal Shelter said that they could only confirm that they were assisting state police with the abuse case.
The woman who owns the property said she had to hose the blood off of the retaining wall because it upset her son, and that she doesn’t believe the story that Saullo allegedly told police.
"It was horrible. I don't know how anybody could do that to an animal,” the woman said.