Dana Cassidy's rage has turned to sorrow.
"I'm beyond angry," she said while in tears. "But I'm sad too."
Her beloved pet Yorkshire, "Max," is dead after her neighbor, 21-year-old Lynda Bernhisel, allegedly beat him to death.
Cassidy says the ordeal began Friday around 3:50 p.m. on the 1000 block of Winton Street in South Philadelphia. According to Cassidy, Bernhisel insulted her father-in-law, who is dying of cancer, leading to a heated argument.
"She was constantly antagonizing," said Cassidy.
Cassidy says Max was with her while she was arguing with her neighbor. During the argument, Bernhisel allegedly grabbed a wooden broomstick handle and repeatedly struck the dog. Cassidy says Bernhisel kept hitting the 10-year-old dog until his skull was crushed.
"Honestly, to me she's a disgrace and a coward," said Cassidy.
Cassidy says she tried to protect her pet during the attack and was struck as well. Police were called to the scene and arrested Bernhisel. By the time they arrived however, Cassidy had suffered a large laceration on her right shoulder and leg. Her dog meanwhile, died from his injuries.
"I just want justice for Max," said Cassidy. "No animal deserves what happened to him."
Bernhisel is charged with animal cruelty, aggravated assault and other related offenses. She is currently being held on $5,000 bail.
Before Bernhisel attends a court appearance for the animal cruelty charges on May 17, she’ll have to attend court before that on April 24. According to court records, she is also charged with driving under the influence back in February.
Bernhisel’s rap sheet doesn’t end there however. According to the Gloucester County Times, Bernhisel was arrested in October of 2011 for allegedly leaving her daughter, who was 1-year-old at the time, alone in a hotel room. While her child was alone, police say Bernhisel was sleeping inside a nearby restaurant. The Times reports that Bernhisel was indicted for child abuse in January, 2012. She then failed to appear in court last August for a status conference on the child abuse charge.