Westbury man pleads guilty to pit bull neglect case

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A Westbury man pleaded guilty Wednesday to an animal cruelty charge stemming from the neglect of a pit bull-mix dog last year, Nassau authorities said.

Lee Hughes, 39, pleaded guilty Wednesday before Nassau County Court Judge Rhonda Fischer to a count of failure to provide proper sustenance, said officials at Nassau County District Attorney Kathleen Rice's office.

Hughes was arrested in March 2013 and charged with failing to provide veterinary care to "Snowball," who suffered from an open neck wound that compromised the dog's breathing.

Fischer said she would sentence Hughes to the maximum 60 days in jail with 3 years of probation at a hearing scheduled for May 1.

Prosecutors also requested he be barred from having animals for a period of time. Hughes' attorney, Eliot Bloom of Williston Park, could not be reached for comment.

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Lee's wife, Shawanna Hughes, also has charges pending in the case.

Both Hughes and his wife were charged earlier this month in connection with the crude chopping off the leg and ears of a pit bull puppy whom rescuers later called Miss Harper, the state attorney general's office announced.

The couple owned the puppy, part of a litter from their dogs, when the animal was seen last summer by Reginald Smith, 33, of Westbury, who worked at the Animal Hospital of Elmont, authorities said.

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The three had surrendered this month after a monthslong investigation by Attorney General Eric Schneiderman and the Nassau County Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals. They were charged in the prior case with various counts of animal cruelty, practicing veterinary medicine without a license and conspiracy.

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