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Macomb Township man sentenced in animal abuse case

By: Alex Szwarc | Macomb Township Chronicle | Published February 26, 2020

 Andrea Biondo, of Macomb Township, stands in court Feb. 20. He was sentenced to 180 days in the Macomb County Jail and ordered to serve 18 months of probation for harming a dog.

Andrea Biondo, of Macomb Township, stands in court Feb. 20. He was sentenced to 180 days in the Macomb County Jail and ordered to serve 18 months of probation for harming a dog.

Photo by Alex Szwarc

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MACOMB TOWNSHIP — A Macomb Township man who confessed to harming a dog said a series of poor choices led to him being in that situation.

Andrea Biondo was sentenced Feb. 20 to 180 days in the Macomb County Jail and 18 months of probation by Circuit Court Judge Joseph Toia.

In November, Biondo, 27, was arraigned on three charges — killing/torturing animals, possessing less than 25 grams of a controlled substance, and controlled substance possession/analogues.

A couple of days after the incident, a neighbor reportedly found the injured dog.

Macomb County Sheriff’s Office deputies were dispatched to a residence for an animal cruelty complaint. At that time, foul play was thought to be involved.

Nella, a 10-pound Havanese dog, was placed into her crate before the resident left the home in the morning. Nella belonged to Biondo’s younger sister.

When she returned later that day, Nella was missing and the crate was smashed.

“Along with the damaged crate, other evidence of foul play including hair, feces, and what is believed to be blood, was located in various areas of the home,” a Sheriff’s Office press release stated.

Biondo, who also resided at the home, had been the only one there during the time when foul play was suspected.

Surveillance footage from the home reportedly showed Biondo carrying the dog by her neck out of the home. The footage also showed Biondo placing a hammer and backpack into his vehicle. When he returned to the residence, he was placed under arrest and brought to the Macomb County Jail. At the time of his arrest, Biondo was found to be in possession of heroin and Suboxone, a prescription medicine used to treat adults who are addicted to opioids.

Upon arrest, Biondo confessed to investigators that he had harmed the dog; however, he also stated that the dog ran away.

Biondo’s case was prosecuted by the task force P.A.W.S., which stands for protecting animal welfare and safety.

Macomb County Assistant Prosecuting Attorney Andrea Irons, who is assigned to the county’s animal protection unit, said, “It concerns the people that the defendant, when he was pleading guilty under oath, said he threw the dog against the wall.”

Irons argued that Biondo changed his story when talking to the probation department and is trying to minimize the incident.

“I view that as not taking responsibility for the actions,” she said.

Biondo’s attorney, Jason Jelalian, countered that point, saying it was not Biondo’s intention to change the story.

“He takes full responsibility for what occurred and is trying to better himself with regard to mental health treatment and anger management,” Jelalian said. “He is not trying to minimize his culpability.”

When given a chance to speak, Biondo said he takes full responsibility and apologizes to all parties involved.

“It’s not like me to act out like that,” he said. “It was a chain of poor choices that led me to where I was that day. I need to work on myself and learn better coping skills.”

Jelalian argued that the case boils down to a mental health issue.

Toia said he wasn’t happy with Biondo’s conduct, adding that the dog was slammed into a wall, creating an indentation into drywall.

Outside the courtroom, Rose Adkins, a Macomb County animal activist, said the sentencing wasn’t good enough.

“When animals go after other animals, they sentence the dog to death,” she said. “When humans do stuff to the animals, they get off.”

In January, Biondo pleaded guilty to all three charges. At that point, he was ordered to attend anger management and impulse control classes.

Also as part of the sentencing, Biondo will be released into a residential treatment facility and is not to own or care for any animals.

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