SEASIDE HEIGHTS — A borough man will be sentenced next month after admitting beating a dog to death last August.

Ocean County Prosecutor Joseph D. Coronato said 34-year-old Nicholas Piccolino admitted to killing 10-year-old Bishon Frise "Booshu." Coronato said on the night of Aug. 19, neighbors told police they heard "several loud banging sounds," and a dog yelping in the kitchen of a home where Piccolino was alone with the dog.

Coronato said Piccolino called the dog's owner at that time, telling her there was something wrong with the dog. Piccolino told the owner the dog had "dirtied" herself in the crate and he had dropped her while trying to clean her up, Coronato said. The owner came home to find Booshu dead on the bathroom floor, the prosecutor said.

The dog was taken to the Red Bank Animal Hospital, where she was declared dead on arrival,Coronato said. A necropsy determined that blunt force injuries to her head and body contributed to her death.

When he entered his plea Coronato said Piccolino had "minimized" how he caused the dog's death, saying he had dropped her after she bit him. Ocean County Assistant Prosecutor said in contrast the 15 pound dog was found with multiple rib fractures and bruises all over her body, as well as missing teeth.

Piccolino is being held at the Ocean County Jail as he awaits sentencing, which is scheduled for July 7.

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Contact reporter Adam Hochron at 609-359-5326 or Adam.Hochron@townsquaremedia.com

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