A man has been charged with animal cruelty after allegedly beating a pit bull to death behind the Norms-Dale Mobile Home Park.
It was a senseless crime that has outraged countless animal lovers in South Jersey over the past week. A 2-year-old dog named "Bella" was beaten to death back on January 28th.
Robin Brainard lives near the alleged dog killer and told NBC40, "It's horrific. I don't even know what to say, it's just sad, justice for Bella. I think they should all go to jail."
And jail is exactly where officials in Egg Harbor Township say 49-year-old Steven Geisel Sr. could soon be headed, after he was issued a complaint summons, and charged with animal cruelty on Tuesday.
Detective Sergeant Fred Spano of the Egg Harbor Township Police Department said, "For something like this, it's disturbing - it's senseless behavior and it's really unacceptable."
Officials say a witness hunting in the woods saw Geisel beat the dog to death, and after other residents also called in tips, they were able to connect the dots that lead to the dog's owners.
Nancy Beall, President of the Atlantic County SPCA, explained, "We have the necropsy report, which shows that the dog definitely wasn't hit by a car. Both sides of its head were crushed. It had been smashed in by some sort of object. Initially he denied even knowing the dog or ever seeing the dog. When I took the pictures to the trailer and showed him, he said he never even saw the dog."
Officials with the Atlantic county SPCA say the suspect's daughter, Kristen Geisel, had been trying to find a home for Bella on Facebook. But now, neighbors want to know why beating and starving the dog to death seemed like the best option for the emaciated pit bull.
Brainard said, "I cried. It broke my heart to even know that. I felt like I should have done something you know what I mean? I called the SPCA twice and left messages." Beall added, "I'm glad that we brought this to a resolution and that this dog didn't die for nothing."
SPCA officials say the Geisels also had two other dogs living in their mobile home - but since the beating death of Bella, the dogs have been removed and placed in foster care in Burlington County, where they are now safe.
Depending on his criminal history, police say Geisel faces six months in county prison, or a fine, if convicted on February 21st.
Evangelist Franklin Graham prayed on a sidewalk outside the Pentagon Thursday after his invitation to a prayer service inside was withdrawn because of comments that insulted people of other religions. More>>