Schenectady man charged with beating dog

Posted at: 05/16/2013 11:46 AM | Updated at: 05/16/2013 5:48 PM
By: Beth Wurtmann

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SCHENECTADY - A two-year-old mixed breed named Con was friendly and rambunctious Thursday, shown to NewsChannel 13 by his foster parent.

But officers with the SPCA said Con's owner abused him, charging 20-year-old DC Dunkel with aggravated animal abuse.

"I hit my dog one time on the side of my house because he ate a 200-dollar pool pump that I bought that day and he ripped the cable wires off the side of my house for the third time," Dunkel said.

Dunkel is the son of Gloria Nelligan, the grandmother charged in February with the beating death of her grandson; a connection that Dunkel said is unfair to make.

"They're making me look crazy. They're doing it because of my mom. I have nothing to do with my mom's actions," he added.

Instead, Dunkel, who is taking care of his three sisters and hopes to gain custody, said it's his neighbor who has created a host of legal problems.

The neighbor, Gaston Hooks, Jr. has video cameras mounted to his porch and gave the SPCA a clip allegedly showing Dunkel abusing the dog.

"He proceeds to beat the dog on the ground four to five times, walks around in a tantrum. The dog walks past him, he does the football kick into the ribs of the dog," Hooks said.

Hooks, who has served prison time for perjury and witness tampering, also accused Dunkel of littering and of criminal mischief after a car windshield was smashed.

Dunkel said he's being falsely accused. As for his dog Con, he said he only disciplined the canine one time for bad behavior. He said he cares for the dog and wants him back.

"He has his own bed, I buy him the best dog food.  He has bones everything he needs, toys," Dunkel said.

SPCA chief David Dean said the dog may have some broken teeth but is doing well. Tests are ongoing.

Dean added that if the abuse allegations are true, Dunkel's treatment of the pet was, "despicable."

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