State Police seek help finding suspect in German shepherd case

GALLATIN—A reward is being offered for information leading to the arrest and conviction of whoever was responsible for fatally shooting and disposing of the body of a two-year-old German shepherd named Duke.

State Police are investigating and seeking the public’s assistance.

The dead dog was found near the shoulder of Silvernails Road about a quarter mile from the Pine Plains border by a local resident, who reported the discovery to the dog warden, who then contacted the State Police after noticing a bullet wound on the animal.

Duke, a two-year-old German Shepherd, was found dead of a gunshot wound in Gallatin. Photo contributed

An investigation has determined the dog’s owners live on Stissing Road in the Dutchess County Town of Stanford, about six miles south of where the dog was found.

State Police Investigator C.J. Melilli told The Columbia Paper this week that the dog ran away from its owners’ residence sometime around Thanksgiving.

The dog was very friendly, said the investigator, who suspects that someone may have taken the dog in until he ran away again.

“The dog was a wanderer,” he said, noting he had no collar but did have a micro chip. The animal was shot through the abdomen, but the bullet passed through the body and was not recovered, said Inv. Melilli. It is believed the dog was shot elsewhere, then dumped along the road.

Back on November 29, 2016, Department of Environmental Conservation Officer James Davey was shot in pelvis and injured by a poacher in a field off Silvernails Road, the same road where the dog was found.

The area is very “rural and remote,” said the investigator. “We really need the public’s help on this one, perhaps someone knows of someone in the area who had a German Shepherd that they don’t see around anymore.

The New York State Humane Association, headquartered in Kingston, is now offering a $2,000 reward for information, thanks to an individual who added $1,000 to original reward.

Anyone with information regarding this incident is asked to contact Investigator C.J. Melilli at 845-677-7379. Refer to case# 9410146.


Columbia County Sheriff’s deputies and Hudson Police joined forces to make progress in solving a string of recent convenience store larcenies.

Deputies, investigators, detectives and officers converged to arrest a local man outside a business at 160 Fairview Avenue in Greenport, February 6.

Jaleel A. Martin, 22, of Hudson allegedly tried to evade the officers but was taken into custody after a brief struggle in which three offices were injured. Two deputies and one detective were examined and treated at Columbia Memorial Hospital for various abrasions, contusions and joint injuries.

Mr. Martin, who was wanted an active parole warrant was immediately taken to the Columbia County Jail. He was on parole after a previous robbery conviction.

According to a press release from Hudson Police, Mr. Martin is the prime suspect in the February 4 larceny of the Quick Mart on Green Street in Hudson, during which $166 was taken after smashing the store’s cash register.

The Sheriff’s Office, State Police and Hudson Police are working to piece together evidence from at least four other similar convenience store larcenies.

Arrests are pending as the investigation continues. Mr. Martin is only being held for his alleged violation of parole.

“Once again law enforcement agencies working together took a dangerous individual off of the streets yesterday. We are so very fortunate to be able to work side by side with such professional agencies like the Hudson Police Department and the New York State Police,” Sheriff David Bartlett said in the release.


The following face drug- and/or alcohol-related charges:

• Melissa Reilly, 37, of Hudson was charged with driving while intoxicated (DWI), aggravated DWI, both class A misdemeanors; and failure to keep right, a traffic infraction, by Deputies Joshua Torchia and Andrew Horst, January 14 at 10:18 p.m. Columbia County 911 dispatched deputies to investigate a reported erratic driver on Fairview Avenue in Greenport. Ms. Reilly was stopped while operating the vehicle. She was administered field sobriety tests, which she failed. A breathalyzer test yielded a 0.24% blood alcohol content. She was issued tickets returnable in Greenport Court at a later date.

To contact Diane Valden email

Go-getter gator. Chatham firefighters recently received training on the department’s new John Deere gator. This vehicle is for off-road as well as on-road operation (top speed 40 mph) and can be used instead of larger equipment in fire suppression, rescue/recovery, traffic control, trees on wires and pump-outs/flooding. It can carry two passengers along with the driver and can also mount a Stokes basket (rescue stretcher). It carries 55-gallons of water, hoses, pump, firefighting foam and a full complement of emergency and scene lights. It can be transported long distances on an enclosed trailer which contains additional equipment including a generator. This equipment was purchased with a grant through the office of former state Senator Kathy Marchione (R-43rd). Photo contributed

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