Ulster County resident Matthew Miller, convicted of aggravated cruelty to animals in April of 2015 has had his conviction upheld by the Appellate Division of the New York State Court system.

Miller was charged with the felony in 2014 for shooting and killing a dog that he claimed was stray and wandered onto his property. The defendant alleged that the dog had begun fighting with his roommate's dog, suffering substantial injuries, so he shot the dog to end its suffering. The dog was then buried on the defendant's property.

Law enforcement officials, responding to the complaint, were given permission to exhume the dog for examination. The examiner determined that the dog suffered no other injuries except for the gunshot to the head. Investigators also determined that the dog was not stray but in fact had been under the care of the defendant's roommate.

Miller was convicted in Ulster County Court and sentenced to one year in jail, required to pay $1,500 in restitution and was permanently barred from owning any animals in the future.

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