Woman pleads guilty in animal-abuse case

Jan. 31, 2014

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An Oyster Bay woman pleaded guilty Thursday to the earlier of two animal-cruelty cases against her, over a dog that had several untreated wounds, including a leg that eventually had to be amputated, Nassau District Attorney Kathleen Rice said.

Shawanna Hughes, 37, pleaded guilty to failure to provide proper sustenance -- veterinary care in this case -- from October through December 2012 for Snowball, a pit bull mix. He had wounds to his neck, paws and tail area, and a broken leg that healed incorrectly, prosecutors said.

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Hughes is expected to get 30 days in jail and 3 years probation at her May 7 sentencing, when prosecutors will also ask the judge to bar her from possessing animals for five years and allow authorities to make spot checks to ensure she complies, authorities said.

Hughes and her husband, Lee, 39, of Westbury, were arrested last March over Snowball, who also suffered from an open neck wound that compromised the dog's breathing.

Lee Hughes pleaded guilty Feb. 26 to the same charge and is expected to get 60 days in jail with 3 years of probation at his May 1 sentencing. Prosecutors will also request that he be barred from having animals for a certain period.

The guilty pleas come after the pair were arrested again on animal-cruelty charges last month regarding another pit bull mix, Miss Harper, whose leg and ears had been improperly chopped off.

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Snowball has been adopted and Miss Harper is up for adoption.

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