DA: Roosevelt man charged with criminal neglect of dogs

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Three pit bull mixes in Roosevelt were found with so many bloody sores and facial swelling that authorities arrested its owner on charges of criminal neglect, District Attorney Kathleen Rice announced Tuesday.

Shawn Christopher, 41, of Roosevelt, was arraigned Tuesday on three misdemeanor counts of criminal animal neglectand fourth-degree criminal possession of marijuana.

Christopher was released and required to report regularly to probation. He faces up to 1 year in jail on each count.

Rice said a tip to her animal crimes unit led her investigator and Nassau County police to Christopher's home at 21 Thoma Place, where they found Angie, a 2-year-old dog, with blistered skin, bloody and raw open sores, cracked paws and severe swelling to the face and eyes.

Then detectives discovered similar injuries on her two puppies, 7-month-old Shiloh and Maddox, prosecutors said.

The dogs were suffering from advanced stages of mange, which had gone untreated for months until authorities took them to the Hempstead Town Animal Shelter in Wantagh, Rice said.

"Neglect and abuse of the kind suffered by these dogs is always heartbreaking and should never be without consequence," Rice said in a news release.

The North Shore Animal League has agreed to take in the dogs during their treatment, then find new owners for them.

Christopher is due back in court Jan. 16. He could not be reached for comment.

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Earlier this month, Rice started a countywide Council on Animal Protection & Safety to provide a forum for local government and nonprofit agencies and help coordinate animal-related initiatives.

Suspected animal abuse may be reported to the animal crimes unit by calling the 24-hour animal crimes tip line 516-571-2245, filling in a complaint form at nassauda.org, emailing AnimalCrimesUnit@nassauda.org or going to the district attorney's criminal complaint unit at 272 Old Country Rd. in Mineola. Call 911 in cases of emergency or danger.

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