An Update On Bella The Puppy


This past May, the Mineola American had the unfortunate task of reporting on the alleged murders of two puppies at the hands of a Mineola couple.

Nassau County District Attorney Madeline Singas and the Nassau County Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (SPCA) announced at the time that Ellie Knoller was arraigned on grand jury indictment charges for allegedly killing two puppies just days after obtaining them and nearly killing a third puppy. Knoller’s wife, Jessica Kuncman, was also charged for permitting the unjustifiable suffering of an animal.

Knoller was charged with three counts of aggravated cruelty to animals and three counts of overdriving, torturing and injuring animals. If convicted of the top count, he faces a maximum of two years in jail. Kuncman is charged with overdriving, torturing and injuring animals. If convicted, she faces a maximum of one year in jail.

“On Feb. 8, 2019, the defendants adopted a shepherd mix puppy from the North Shore Animal League,” said Singas. “Nine days later, that animal named Tucker was dead. We allege that Tucker died because of injuries sustained from blunt force trauma, which caused his kidney to swell. Tucker’s kidney ruptured and he suffered a hemoabdomen. This young, healthy puppy succumbed to catastrophic bleeding from internal injuries.”

The next day, the couple purchased a second puppy. Just two days later, the Goldendoodle puppy, who was named Cooper, was taken to a veterinarian clinic in cardiac and respiratory arrest, and then died. The vet determined that Cooper suffered a lacerated liver. Just like Tucker, Cooper bled to death internally.

After Cooper’s death, the couple purchased an 11-week-old puppy named Bella. Soon after purchasing her, the couple brought Bella to an emergency veterinary hospital in critical condition. The doctors examined Bella and determined that she suffered from multiple fractured ribs on both sides of her body, bruising of her lungs, hemorrhaging of both of her eyes and a broken right leg.

“Bella required surgery and the implementation of a metal rod to repair her broken leg and she continues to recover nicely from her injuries,” said Singas. “We allege that Knoller caused the pain and serious injuries that Bella suffered from blunt force trauma and that she sustained injuries consistent with neck trauma or choking.”

However, there is a happy ending in this unfortunate case. Bella, who had to have her leg amputated due to her injuries, has since been adopted and is recovering well in her brand new home.

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