Peter Galantino kicked four-pound Yorkie named Mocha in March 2020; dog suffered skull fractures, liver fracture and broken ribs.

Nassau County District Attorney Anne T. Donnelly announced that a Hempstead man was convicted by a jury today of aggravated cruelty to animals for kicking a Yorkshire terrier and killing the animal in March 2020. 


Peter Galantino, 62, was convicted by a jury today before Judge Howard Sturim of Aggravated Cruelty to Animals (an E felony), Overdriving, Torturing and Injuring Animals (an A misdemeanor) and Criminal Mischief in the Fourth Degree (an A misdemeanor). Upon conviction, the NCDA asked for $50,000 bail and Judge Sturim released the defendant on his own recognizance. Galantino is due back in court on March 19, 2024, and faces a potential maximum of two years in jail.  


Openings in the trial occurred on January 4 and closings were January 10. The jury deliberated for approximately seven hours. 


“This defendant sadistically punted a four-pound Yorkie named Mocha and cracked the animal’s skull in two places, while fracturing her liver and three of her ribs,” said DA Donnelly. “Mocha bravely fought for her life, but the blunt force trauma was too much for her little body and she was put to sleep after suffering five heart attacks. Defendant Peter Galantino, during his trial testimony, blamed everyone but himself for what happened to Mocha. He deliberately kicked a defenseless animal, and, with today’s verdict, a jury of his peers has found him guilty of aggravated animal cruelty. This office will aggressively prosecute anyone who harms animals.”  


DA Donnelly said that, according to the indictment and investigation, on March 14, 2020, a verbal confrontation ensued between Galantino, who was walking his dog, and a married couple that was walking two of their animals – a Yorkshire Terrier and a German Shepherd – in the Hempstead area. The defendant’s dog defecated on the street, and the married couple insisted that the defendant clean up after his dog. The confrontation escalated and Galantino kicked the couple’s Yorkie, named Mocha. According to Galantino’s trial testimony, he needed to defend himself from the dog and he kicked it approximately six to seven feet. 


The dog was left limp and unresponsive and taken to a nearby animal hospital. Mocha suffered a fractured liver, three rib fractures, and a skull fracture in two places. Approximately two-thirds of the dog’s blood pooled in her abdomen due to internal bleeding. Mocha suffered five heart attacks and was euthanized after a recommendation from the veterinarian. 


Galantino was arrested on March 24, 2020, by members of the Nassau County Police Department. 


The case is being prosecuted by Senior Investigative Counsel Heather Kalachman and Assistant District Attorney Kathleen Hurley of the Animal Crimes Unit. The defendant is represented by John Carman, Esq. and Susan Carman, Esq.


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