Columbus Division of Fire
3675 Parsons Avenue
Columbus, Ohio 43207
Attorney Sam Shamansky, left, and Columbus firefighter David Santuomo appear in Municipal Court. Santuomo pleaded guilty to animal cruelty charges.
Columbus firefighter David P. Santuomo will spend 90 days in jail and pay $4,500 in restitution for shooting his two dogs in the basement of his home and wrapping their bodies in a plastic sheet.
Investigators say Santuomo, 43, of 2945 Rushbury Dr. , has admitted that he was going on a cruise with his girlfriend and didn't want to pay to board the dogs Sloopy and Skeeter even though two neighbors offered to watch the animals in his absence. At the time, he lived on Essington Drive near Dublin .
Franklin County Municipal Judge Harland H. Hale accepted guilty pleas to two counts of animal cruelty and one count of possessing a criminal tool a homemade silencer Santuomo used on the end of a rifle.
The pleas today could jeopardize Santuomo's career. He still faces an internal disciplinary hearing with Fire Chief Ned Pettus Jr. He has been a firefighter since 1996.
Assistant County Prosecutor Heather Robinson said the facts of the case are brutal:
On Dec. 3, Santuomo laid down a plastic sheet in his basement and tied the dogs to a pipe, partially suspending their bodies. He shot them multiple times, then dumped their carcasses in a trash bin behind Fire Station 27 at 7560 Smoky Row Rd. , where he was assigned.
"He later bragged about killing his pets to fellow firefighters, and he showed no remorse, even joking about it," Robinson said. "Fellow firefighters were disgusted by what he did, and the Capital Area Humane Society was called to investigate."
Hale sentenced Santuomo to 90 days in jail and ordered him to pay a $150 fine. He must have no pets or firearms in his home for five years and serve 200 hours of community service; undergo random home inspections; and pay $4,500 in restitution for the costs of the investigation to the county and the Capital Area Humane Society, from which he had adopted the dogs.
He also was ordered to write a letter of apology to a firefighters magazine and to readers of The Dispatch.
Hale said Santuomo will be permitted to serve his jail time in 10-day stints over a two-year period.