What to Know
- After 14 months apart, Peter Tsadilas and his dog, Callie, were reunited Friday
- Tsadilas had his four-legged friend returned days after Nassau County jury found him not guilty of animal cruelty after a nightmarish ordeal
- Tsadilas’ lawyer says a 6 pound ovarian tumor caused the weight loss – it was subsequently removed four months after Tsadilas’ was arrested
After 14 months apart, Peter Tsadilas and his dog, Callie, were reunited Friday.
Tsadilas had his four-legged friend returned days after a Nassau County jury found him not guilty of animal cruelty after a nightmarish ordeal.
“It's been a real nightmare for me. One day I am walking in the park with her and the next day, they're arresting me, prosecuting me and taking my dog away,” he said.
Tsadilas was charged with starving his dog in July 2018.
His nightmare started when Callie had gone missing.
After a Good Samaritan found the pooch, the Nassau SPCA determined the Labrador retriever was underweight, but Tsadilas’ lawyer says the 6 pound ovarian tumor caused the weight loss – it was subsequently removed four months after Tsadilas’ was arrested.
“He didn't know about the tumor, which was accentuating the weight loss and accelerating it,” Robert Schalk, Tsadilas’ lawyer, said.
What's more, according to Schalk, notes from the SPCA's own veterinarian show that investigators knew about the tumor but did nothing to investigate it.
“I feel vindicated. I feel like the right thing was done here and God was on my side,” Tsadilas says.
A spokesman for the Nassau County District Attorney’s Office responded Friday by saying simply, “We respect the verdict.”
However, for Tsadilas this is not the end of the story. He says his Huntington diner has been devastated by a rush to judgment on social media after his arrest.
“I don't know if we'll ever recover here. But the truth of the matter is, I could lose this -- it's just a possession. I got my dog back. I'm ecstatic about it,” he said.