Ellie Knoller and his wife

Nassau County District Attorney's Office

Long Island Couple Faces Animal Cruelty Charges In Puppy Deaths

May 15, 2019 - 2:38 pm

MINEOLA, N.Y. (WCBS 880) -- A Long Island man faces animal cruelty charges after he allegedly beat three puppies, killing two of them, in less than three weeks and his newlywed wife is accused of failing to help the severely injured third puppy.

Nassau County District Attorney Madelina Singas said in the month of February, Ellie Knoller, a 30-year-old unemployeed Mineola man, and his wife, Jessica, adopted three puppies -- one from a shelter on Long Island and the other two from a breeder in Pennsylvania. 

The first two puppies, named Tucker and Cooper, died violent deaths. Singas says Tucker was beaten so badly his kidney ruptured and Cooper sustained a lacerated liver. Both suffered internal bleeding and died.

Singas said the third puppy, a Goldendoodle named Bella, barely survived. They went back to that same breeder got another Goldendoodle puppy, Bella, after complaining that Cooper had unexpectedly died.

Bella had multiple fractured ribs, bruising on her lungs, bleeding behind her eyes and a broken leg. Singas said Bella was in pain for 15 hours before being brought to the vet.

“It’s difficult to imagine someone could harm such a sweet little dog, but that is what happened to Bella, beaten and choked, leaving her with several broken ribs, her forearm broken in two places and a pulmonary contusion," Singas said. "It’s a miracle this little girl is alive and recovering, two other dogs were not so lucky."

Sophia Hall/WCBS 880

Bella has $18,000 in medical expenses. A site has been set up to donate money toward her care.

"In my 28 years as a prosecutor I've never seen a case where someone committed this kind of serial violence against different puppies," Singas added. "I don't know why this happened, maybe they are anger issues, maybe it's some kind of sick sport. I couldn't really tell you."

The couple pleaded not guilty to animal cruelty charges. They surrendered their passports and were released on their own recognizance. 

Their attorneys say the dogs had medical issues and were not abused.

Knoller and his wife are due back in court on June 3.