SOUTH BRONX — The man convicted of beating a puppy with a shovel and burying her up to her neck in snow was sentenced to a year behind bars on Wednesday.
Raul Cruz, 45, attacked his 6-month-old dog named Hennessy multiple times in late January 2015 by punching her, hitting her with a shovel and otherwise tormenting her.
On Jan. 30, 2015, officers arrived at 855 E. 167th St. to find the dog — whose name has since been changed to Peanut Butter — whimpering and buried up to its neck in the snow. The pooch was taken to the ASPCA in Manhattan for treatment.
Bronx District Attorney Darcel Clark said in a statement that Cruz had been "relentless in his horrific abuse of a defenseless creature."
Cruz was sentenced on Wednesday to a year in jail, and he will also be banned from owning animals for five years and have to register with the New York City Animal Abuse Registry.
He had been arrested multiple times before his animal cruelty charge, and Judge Robert Neary, who handed down Cruz's sentence, harshly criticized him for this.
"It's very disappointing to see somebody waste their life like you've wasted yours," he said.
Peanut Butter spent more than 1.5 months in intensive care with the ASPCA and was officially adopted by a new family in May 2015, and she had a smooth adjustment to her new home, according to the ASPCA.
"Despite the abuse and weeks of medical treatment at the ASPCA Animal Hospital, Peanut Butter’s gentle, playful spirit was never broken," Vice President of ASPCA Humane Law Enforcement Howard Lawrence said in a statement. "Fortunately, she was able to recover and find a safe, loving home."