This morning, Ocean County Prosecutor Joseph D. Coronato announced that on May 22, 2017, Nicholas Piccolino, 34, of Seaside Heights, pled guilty before Judge James M. Blaney, J.S.C., to one count of Cruelty to Animal 3rd degree for causing serious bodily injury and death to a 10 year-old female Bichon Frise dog named “Booshu.”  Mr. Piccolino’s sentencing is tentatively scheduled for July 7, 2017.  Link to Ocean County Prosecutor Press Release:

The NJSPCA commends Ocean County Prosecutor Coronato, Ocean County Assistant Prosecutor Heidi Tannenbaum-Newman and the entire staff for taking the time to work with the NJSPCA on this case and seeing this prosecution through to a successful outcome.  It is highly likely that Mr. Piccolino will see jail time for up to one year behind bars for his crimes against a defenseless fifteen pound animal. 

Unfortunately, this is the first time in a very time we have seen a perpetrator facing significant jail time for animal cruelty.   Thankfully, we are beginning to see Prosecutors like Mr. Coronato take the prosecution of animal cruelty cases seriously, like his office did in this case and the recent case against Andrew Mayer in Toms River.  More importantly, it sends a message that crimes against animals are not acceptable and will prosecuted with vigor. We thank Ocean County Prosecutor Coronato for sending that message.

NJSPCA Detective Sergeant Larry Donato, with assistance from the Seaside Heights Police Department, worked hard on this case and should be commended for their hard work and dedication.  It is cases like this, when the NJSPCA works in partnership with local law enforcement and local prosecutors to achieve an acceptable and just outcome.