Lee Hughes gets 60 days in jail in animal cruelty case

Lee Hughes, 40, of Oyster Bay, former owner

Lee Hughes, 40, of Oyster Bay, former owner of a pit bull named Snowball, was sentenced Thursday, July 24, 2014 to 60 days in jail and barred from having animals for five years after the dog was found with serious injuries. (Credit: NCDA)

The former owner of a pit bull was sentenced Thursday to 60 days in jail and barred from having animals for five years after the dog was found with serious injuries, including an open, infected neck wound that was hampering its breathing, prosecutors said.

Lee Hughes, 40, of Oyster Bay was arrested in March 2013 and charged with failing to provide proper sustenance, in this case veterinary care, for a dog named Snowball. Hughes pleaded guilty in February to the animal cruelty charge under the state's agriculture and markets law.

Hughes also was sentenced Thursday to 3 years of probation and agreed to spot checks by law enforcement to ensure he does not have any animals, said the Nassau district attorney's office.


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Snowball had a neck wound that investigators believe might have been caused by chemical burns, prosecutors said. The wound got infected and had thickened, they said. She also had injuries on her paws and tail area and a broken leg that healed incorrectly, authorities said.

Hughes' co-defendant and wife, Shawanna Hughes, was sentenced in May to 30 days in jail and three years of probation for failing to provide proper veterinary care. She also was barred from owning animals for five years and must submit to spot checks.

Snowball had to have her leg amputated, but she recovered from surgery and was adopted, prosecutors said.

The couple and a veterinary aide, Reginald Smith of Westbury, face separate animal cruelty charges in the case of a pit bull puppy found with an infected, improperly amputated leg and other injuries.

The dog, named Miss Harper by rescuers, is under veterinary care and being fitted with a prosthetic leg.

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