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Oxford, PA — In the study of psychology, there is a term for those who hurt animals for personal pleasure. It is called intentional animal torture and cruelty IATC, and the folks who carry it out are often the most depraved people in society. Psychologists have long studied the reasons behind why a person would intentionally harm an animal and the types of people associated with this behavior are often society's worst. Shockingly enough, as frequent readers of the Free Thought Project understand, police officers are often the most common offenders when it comes to being deliberately cruel to animals.

While it is common knowledge that police officers kill dogs on a regularly basis, many folks don't realize that cops also kill lots of  animals in sadistic ways as well. Case in point: a Pennsylvania state trooper is facing animal cruelty charges after he deliberately and repeatedly rammed his patrol car into a horse, causing it immense suffering and eventually death.

Over the weekend, Cpl. Michael Perillo was arrested and charged with felony and misdemeanor counts of aggravated animal cruelty, including torture and causing significant bodily injury to the horse.

The incident happened late last year but the investigation apparently took over 6 months to complete. According to officials, on December 28, 2021, police received a report of a horse in the area of U.S. Route 1 in Lower Oxford Township. The horse had reportedly gotten free from a nearby Amish farm.

When the trooper arrived, the horse was on the shoulder and though it had reportedly been hit by another car, it was still standing and not a danger to anyone. Instead of getting out and trying to lead the horse to safety, the trooper rammed it. As the Philly Voice reports:

A criminal complaint filed by the state police's internal affairs division alleges that Perillo drove his patrol car into the horse multiple times, pinning the animal to the pavement. The second trooper then euthanized the horse, authorities said.

Troopers are permitted to use a firearm to kill a dangerous animal in self-defense, to defend another person or to end the suffering of an injured or sick animal if other means of doing so are not available. Troopers are required to document all actions taken in appropriate reports.

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Making sure that no one would ever see the dashboard camera, the charges against Perillo were only announced after the legal window closed on the request for the dash cam footage. According to the AP, state law provides 60 days to submit a request for a copy of an officer's audio or video recording. Requests must be made in writing by certified mail or hand-delivered, and rejections can be appealed to court.

Though the video won't be released, we can infer from the seriousness of the charges and the $50,000 bail amount, that the officer's actions that night were detestable and sick. He now faces more than a decade behind bars if convicted.

Sadly, police officers hurting animals — on top of shooting thousands of dogs a year — is an all too common occurrence.

Previously, TFTP reported on the case of North Sioux City police officer Derek McIntosh. McIntosh was arrested after he was caught trapping cats in his neighborhood and bringing them to a nearby cemetery, where he would kill them.

Before that, we reported on a cop in Texas who went into a dog shelter, picked up a wooden 2x4 and beat three dogs, killing one of them.

In New York, TFTP reported on two officers who were suspended after they chased down and ran over a groundhog during a police union golf tournament. Three-year veteran of the force, Tyler Sammon, drove the golf cart, and Matt Spath rode as passenger when the two reportedly chased the animal until it was exhausted, and then cruelly crushed it beneath the cart’s tires — possibly more than once — in what the Albany Times-Union deemed an act of “woodchuck homicide.”