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It seemed like a picture-perfect setting: A young couple from Long Island, New York, brought three sweet puppies into their home. Authorities say what happened after that is far from idyllic.
Jessica Kuncman, 30, and Ellie Knoller, 29, are accused of t.orturing each of the puppies in what prosecutors are calling “serial animal a.buse.”
The couple, who are married less than a year, caused blunt force trauma to one dog, who d.ied nine days later. They adopted the first pup, a male Shepherd mix, from the North Shore Animal League.
The next day they purchased a Goldendoodle named Cooper from a breeder in Pennsylvania. Three days later, the innocent animal bled to d.eath from internal injuries.
Knoller told the Goldendoodle breeder the puppy d.ied and complained the animal was sick. He was given a replacement puppy. The remaining dog was choked, beaten, and suffered many broken bones. With over $18,000 in injuries, the puppy miraculously survived.
The New York Post reports the couple was charged with over-driving, t.orturing and injuring animals. Knoller also faces a felony charge of aggravated c.ruelty to animals.
“The defendants are not allowed to have any kind of animals — not a dog, not a cat, not a bird, not a goldfish,” Judge Meryl Berkowitz ordered.
Passports were taken away, the couple was released without bail, and a trial is pending. If convicted on the top count, Knoller and Kuncman face a max of two years and one year, respectively.