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Westchester Man Charged With Animal Cruelty, Abandonment, For Abusing Puppy

Cleo suffered several injuries before being abandoned in the Bronx. Photo Credit: Looking Glass Animal Shelter
The Yonkers man was caught abusing the puppy on camera. Photo Credit: NYPD
Cleo suffered several injuries before being abandoned in the Bronx. Photo Credit: Looking Glass Animal Shelter
Cleo is making progress in her recovery.
Cleo is making progress in her recovery. Video Credit: Looking Glass Animal Shelter

A Westchester County man turned himself into police custody this week after allegedly abusing a puppy, dragging it from a pickup truck onto the street, injuring the animal before abandoning it.

Yonkers resident Loro Gjonaj, surrendered himself to police custody after he allegedly dragged his female beagle puppy out of his Lincoln Mark truck onto a Bronx street last month. The dog suffered a head injury and has since been treated by a veterinarian at an animal clinic.

Police said that after tossing the puppy onto the street Gjonaj fled the scene, though he was caught on a surveillance camera. According to multiple reports, a Good Samaritan found the 4-month-old puppy tied to a pole near a barbershop, which led to an intervention to save it and a police investigation.

The puppy, which was dubbed Cleo by her rescuers, was treated for facial injuries, fractured bones on her skull and several cuts and bruises on her body at the Looking Glass Animal Rescue in Ridgefield.

Gjonaj, 77, turned himself in on Tuesday, Oct. 2 in the Bronx, following the police investigation, and was charged with torture or failure to feed an animal and abandonment of a disabled animal. 

Cleo has been treated and is being cared for by a foster family until she is ready to be adopted. Gjonaj is scheduled to appear in court at a later date to answer the charges.

“We at Looking Glass Animal Rescue are thrilled that there will be justice for Cleo,” Looking Glass Animal Rescue co-founder Jody Harris-Stern said. “With the support and persistence of our community, as well as the tireless effort of the NYPD Animal Cruelty Squad, we were able to give Cleo a voice; a voice that mobilized a community to fight together to right a terrible wrong and unified a group of strangers who, regardless of their differences, became a family.”

Anyone with information regarding Gjonaj or the incident involving Cleo has been asked to contact NYPD’s Crime Stoppers by calling 800-577-8477.

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