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Published: Thursday, 3/29/2012

Michigan man gets 30 days in jail after neighbor's dog swallows needle-laced hot dog

Gary Pinchoff of Monroe, Michigan, appears in First District Court. Gary Pinchoff of Monroe, Michigan, appears in First District Court.
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MONROE — The Frenchtown Township man charged with stuffing needles inside hot dogs that were swallowed by a neighbor’s dog was sentenced to 30 days in jail, with credit for one day already served.

Gary Pinchoff, 64, who pleaded no contest and was found guilty to a reduced felony charge of animal cruelty, was sentenced Thursday afternoon by Monroe County Circuit Court Judge Michael W. LaBeau.

Prosecutor William Paul Nichols previously had asked the judge to consider prison time for Pinchoff. Had Pinchoff pleaded guilty to the original felony charge, which could have resulted in up to four years in prison, Mr. Nichols said he would not have made a sentencing recommendation.

People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals also had asked that Pinchoff receive prison time and be required to undergo psychological counseling.

The charges against Pinchoff stem from a November incident in which authorities say he laced hot dogs with dozens of needles that then were swallowed by his neighbor’s 8-year-old black Labrador retriever, Jinx. Authorities said the dog swallowed at least 40 needles and was euthanized because of the severity of her injuries.

Andy Wann of Monroe filed a report in November with the Michigan State Police’s Monroe post about the incident. Pinchoff and Mr. Wann are longtime neighbors. Authorities said Pinchoff claimed he put the meat outside for invasive wildlife.

Pinchoff is free on $5,000 bond he posted Dec. 8.

Contact Tanya Irwin at: tirwin@theblade.com or 419-724-6066.

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