A Long Branch man has been charged with animal cruelty after allegedly punching his dog in the parking lot of the Monmouth County SPCA in Eatontown.
Pietro Bottino, 68, was seen punching his black Belgium shepherd, Turilo, in his black pickup truck on at 12:30 p.m. on Friday, Oct. 11, according to Victory "Buddy" Amato, chief of the law enforcement division for the Monmouth County SPCA.
Amato said SPCA staff members Ken McKeel and Donna Aliff witnessed the incident and pulled the dog away from Bottino.
Eatontown Police Officer Sean Murphy arrived on the scene and told Bottino that he was being charged with animal cruelty for the incident and that the dog was going to be seized.
Bottino's court date was set for November in front of municipal judge George Ceri.
Amato said Turilo will be fostered out until the outcome of the court hearing.