A sadistic Long Island man pummeled a pair of newly-adopted puppies until severe organ damage caused both to die from internal bleeding, authorities charged Wednesday.
Ellie Knoller, 29, was also charged with savagely beating a third dog who survived despite fractured ribs, a broken leg and bruising to the lungs, said Nassau County District Attorney Madeline Singas. The pets were all acquired and assaulted within a horrifying three-week stretch in February.
“These animals can’t testify about the unconscionable suffering that they endured, but their blunt force and neck trauma injuries tell a gruesome story,” said Singas. “After 35 years of animal crime investigations, I have never seen a case like this.”
Knoller was charged with three counts of aggravated cruelty to animals and three more of overdriving, torturing and injuring animals, according to a newly-unsealed indictment. His wife, 30-year-old Jessica Knoller, was charged with ignoring the surviving dog for 15 hours before finally taking the female Goldendoodle puppy named Bella to a veterinarian.
The adorable dog was “practically beaten to death,” said Singas. “It’s difficult to imagine who could harm such a sweet little dog, but that is what happened to Bella.”
The cruel couple left the Mineola, L.I., courthouse without comment after entering pleas of not guilty to the heinous crimes. Defense attorneys claimed all three of the dogs simply became sick after the Knollers brought the puppies home.
But authorities described the couple as monsters who treated their new pets like punching bags.
The Knollers first adopted 3-month-old Tucker on Feb. 8, with the puppy dead just nine days later. Authorities blamed blunt-force trauma inflicted by Ellie Knoller for a ruptured kidney that led to fatal internal bleeding.
On the day after Tucker died, the couple purchased a puppy from a Pennsylvania breeder – a brown Goldendoodle puppy who lasted just two days with the Knollers. The doomed dog, named Cooper, suffered a lacerated liver from the same type of lethal trauma inflicted on Tucker, officials said.
The remorseless couple then returned to the Keystone State breeder and picked up Bella after complaining that Cooper had unexpectedly died. The two puppies were siblings from the same litter.
According to Singas, Bella needed surgery that included the insertion of a metal rod and a steel plate to repair the broken leg bone.