Bond set at $10k for man accused of freezing puppy to death


HIGHLAND HEIGHTS, Ohio (WJW)– The man accused of torturing his ex-girlfriend’s dog to death appeared in court Thursday morning.

Phillip Savelli, 34, is charged with three counts of cruelty against a companion animal. He pleaded not guilty and his bond was set at $10,000. He was ordered to have no contact with the dog’s owner and not to possess any animals.

Phillip Savelli mugshot
Phillip Savelli (Photo courtesy: Highland Heights police)

Police were called to the woman’s home in Highland Heights on June 3 for the incident. Amy Beichler, the director of the Public Animal Welfare Society of Ohio, said Savelli repeatedly dunked a 10-month-old Yorkie in water and put it in the freezer until the dog was dead.

“I never know why people do the cruel things that they do to helpless, innocent, voiceless animals. But to do this to this owner and this owner’s family. There’s now a 4-year-old child that doesn’t have Coco any longer,” Beichler said.

Goddard’s Law, named for the late FOX 8 meteorologist Dick Goddard, was passed in 2016, making it a fifth-degree felony to cause physical harm to a companion animal. Beichler said Senate Bill 164 would elevate those charges to a violent offense, which would mean more jail time.

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