Police/FireThe Putnam Examiner

Two Men Convicted for Killing Animals in Putnam

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Two men were recently convicted in Putnam County in separate cases for killing animals.

Matthew Savinovich

Putnam County District Attorney Robert Tendy said on April 26, Matthew Savinovich, 27, of Norwood, NJ, pled guilty to charges relating to the brutal killing of three of his ex-girlfriend’s pets in her Lake Peekskill home last year.

Savinovich, who has an extensive criminal record, faces between three and seven years in state prison after admitting to killing two chihuahuas by slamming them against a wall in his ex-girlfriend’s home. Savinovich also admitted to killing his ex-girlfriend’s ferret by crushing it to death by intentionally dropping a mattress and box spring on top of it.

“This is one of the worst examples of animal cruelty that I have ever seen,” Tendy remarked. “The case took a lot of time and work to put it together — there were no witnesses, and no one knew what had happened or why. The team did a phenomenal job, and as a result, this defendant will serve state prison time for the brutality that he intentionally inflicted on these innocent and defenseless animals.”

Savinovich was arrested by the Putnam County SPCA on October 6, 2021. He pled guilty to two counts of aggravated cruelty to animals, one count of torturing animals, and one count of attempted burglary in the second degree.

Caleb Shuk

“This was an extremely difficult case in that there were no witnesses and time had passed destroying any crime scene,” SPCA Chief Ken Ross said. “Animal cruelty cases are typically difficult to begin with as our victims do not speak.”

In a separate incident, Caleb Shuk, 19, of Philipstown, who was arrested by the SPCA on May 4, 2021 for torturing and killing a bat resting against a rock wall in the Sunken Mines Caves in Putnam Valley, pled guilty to one count of animal cruelty and was sentenced to two years probation.

According to the SPCA, Shuk used a large rock to crush the bat multiple times, causing it extreme pain and ultimately its death — all while yelling expletives about coronavirus and laughing.

“The importance of these arrests and convictions is extremely important,” Ross stated. “People who abuse and kill animals become desensitized to taking a life. Studies show that people who kill animals will go on to commit crimes against humans. Also, these arrests and convictions show that in Putnam County, animal cruelty is taken seriously.”

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