NJ Man Charged with Killing Ex-Girlfriend’s Pets in Lake Peekskill

A New Jersey man was charged Wednesday with killing his ex-girlfriend’s four pets in Lake Peekskill between December 2019 and November 2020.

Matthew Savinovich, 27, of Norwood, NJ, was arrested by the Putnam County SPCA after surrendering to officers Oct. 6. He was arraigned in Putnam County Court and remanded to Putnam County Jail in lieu of $100,000 cash or $500,000 bond.

He is accused of killing three Chihuahuas and one ferret.

Savinovich, who the SPCA described as “a predicate felon with an extensive criminal record,” faces a minimum of five years in state prison if convicted of the charges, which include: one count of felony burglary; four counts of aggravated cruelty to animals (felony); four counts of misdemeanor animal cruelty; and four counts of felony criminal mischief.

He was also charged with bail jumping, a Class a misdemeanor, for failure to appear in Putnam Valley Court on other offenses.

“Studies have shown that those who commit animal cruelty eventually commit crimes against humans,” said SPCA Chief Ken Ross.

Ross noted the lengthy investigation included the assistance of many agencies, including the Putnam County District Attorney’s Office, the Putnam County Sheriff’s Office, the Ossining Police Department, the Peekskill Police Department and several police units in New Jersey.

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