Bronx man claims neighbor shot and killed his dog

Posted at 6:42 PM, Apr 14, 2013
and last updated 2013-04-14 19:02:14-04

BRONX (PIX11)– Daniel Lopez could barely control his emotions as he watched his 9-year-old dog Spike put to sleep last week.

The Vet said the dog suffered severe internal bleeding after being shot by a pellet gun, allegedly fired by the Lopez’s 73-year-old neighbor Donald Savino.

“I didn’t realize it was a shooting, it went ‘shhhhh’ just like that.”

Marco Lopez says he was just a few feet away from his beloved pooch outside his Throggs Neck home, when he heard something whizzing through the air Tuesday evening.

Less than a second later he says he heard his 9-year-old Maltese let out a howl.

“He just jumped and he just starts to scream in pain, and he run, he came back to the house.”

Lopez says he looked around the block, when he noticed his neighbor, the 73-year-old Savino standing near his window holding an air gun.

“I see his hand, with the rifle in his hand, so I knew it was him.”

“And the Lopez family says this actually wasn’t the first time Spike was shot with a pellet gun.  They say the Maltese actually lived with one of the pellets inside one of its legs.

At first the family said they had no idea who was responsible for the initial shooting, but after the latest incident, they now say they believe Savino was responsible for both.”

“It is obvious that he is the one that did it the first time.”

Initially, Lopez did not press charges.  But after being forced to put Spike to sleep just a few hours later he changed his mind.

“I touched his head and said you’re not coming home baby, you’re going to stay here tonight I tried to explain to him, but he was in pain.”

Friday police arrested Savino for animal cruelty and weapons possession.

“By doing this, hopefully he learn a lesson.”

We tried to talk to Savino, who we’re told was released from jail, but he did not answer the door.

While the Lopez family waits for their day in court, they’ve already adopted another dog, named Lex, to help ease the pain for their son Daniel.

“I guess he’s going to be the new member of the family.”