UPDATE: Today, a trial was held for Nicholas Pelloni for all eight misdemeanor animal cruelty charges. He was found guilty and sentenced to four years. Three years and four months were all suspended and he will have to serve a total of eight months in jail.
He also has to pay $800 for inadequate care and he also has to pay $5,000 to the Humane Society for the seizure process of the puppies.
Today a preliminary hearing was held for the felony animal cruelty charge for the puppy that died. This will go to circuit court and to a grand jury.
He is no longer allowed to have any pet.
Portsmouth, Va. - Nicholas Pelloni, the Portsmouth man accused of killing a puppy and starving his eight other dogs while keep them locked in a hot garage for days without food and water, could be out of jail soon. This morning, a judge granted him at $25,000 bond.
"I'm being made out to be the bad person when I thought I was doing the right thing," said Pelloni.
Pelloni spoke only to NewsChannel 3 Tuesday during a tearful jailhouse interview. The 37-year-old was charged with felony animal cruelty after Portsmouth Police say, back in July, they found his boxer, Coco, and seven of her puppies underweight and locked in filthy crates at his home. An eighth puppy was found starved to death inside a storage container.
"I couldn't do anything. You know, I couldn't give them the proper care and medication that they needed, so that's why I called animal control - to get them the proper care and medication that they needed," said Pelloni.
Pelloni, who has a lengthy criminal record, says he did what he could to care for his dogs but became overwhelmed.
"It just hurts because I'm not like that. And all these accusations are so false, it's not even funny. You know, I'm hurt by it," said Pelloni.
Seven of the dogs were taken to the Portsmouth Humane Society. Officials say many families came in after seeing stories about them. After undergoing a detailed application and screening process, families have been chosen for all of the puppies. They will be undergoing spay/neuter surgeries on Thursday.
As for Coco, Pelloni told the judge in court that he wants to keep her since he's had her so long. That decision will be left up to the judge. Pelloni is expected back in court Friday when a trial date will be set.