PEABODY (CBS) — A five-month-old golden retriever puppy died over the weekend and prosecutors said Tuesday that it was at the hands of a 31-year-old Lowell man. Jeremy Picchierri pleaded not guilty and was ordered held without bail until a dangerousness hearing on Thursday.
According to Peabody Police, the dog, Jack, was owned by Nina Bermudez, Picchierri’s fiance. She left her puppy with Picchierri while she went to work but later received called from Picchierri, who told her that something was wrong with the dog.
Bermudez advised Picchierri take Jack to a veterinary hospital, which he did. Prosecutors said while he was on his way, he called Bermudez to say he was nervous, may have smacked the dog, and did not want to be charged with animal cruelty. After staff at Bulger Animal Hospital in North Andover examined Jack, they contacted Bermudez, who called North Andover Police.
A police report by a North Andover Police officer read, “I observed several marks on the dogs skin which were large bruises. One of the bruises almost appeared to be a handprint around the rear of the dog’s neck along with several other small bruises around the neck and shoulder area where it was shaved. There were also several bruises around the dog’s ears and inside its ears by the ear canal.”
When police confronted Picchierri at the hospital, he told them the dog had a seizure and denied hitting the dog. A doctor who spoke to police said the injuries did not appear to be caused by a seizure.
Court documents also show Bermudez told police that “jealousy” had been a problem in her relationship with Picchierri and that they had broken up before recently getting engaged.
“She also noted that two weeks ago while they were having a discussion of marriage, Jeremy told her ‘once we are married, that’s it…I have family that’s mafia, you can’t leave me or I’ll kill you,'” said the Peabody Police report.
Picchierri appeared in Peabody District Court to be arraigned on animal cruelty and threatening to commit a crime charges Tuesday.