A Coram man has been charged with animal cruelty after his family dog, Queenie, was found emaciated, deprived of food and water and "basically a skeleton" about a week ago, officials said.
Queenie, an adult Cane Corso, was found lying on her side, unmoving, behind the closed door of an overheated bedroom last Saturday, her nostrils clogged and sealed by crusty mucus, rescuers said.
Suffolk County SPCA chief Roy Gross said Michael Faulkner, 26, of 14B Country Club Drive, was charged with animal cruelty Friday, which carries a penalty of one year in prison and/or a $1,000 fine. He said Faulkner will have to appear in court soon to face the misdemeanor charge.
After her rescue, Queenie was taken to the Grady Animal Hospital in Sayville for treatment. Seven days later, Queenie was "doing better than expected," said veterinary technician Theresa Flynn. Stacey Caporaso, wife of Grady veterinarian Mark Caporaso, said Queenie has gained between 17 and 20 lbs. in one week and that it appears that her kidney problems have subsided.
Flynn said Queenie was happy, barking, running around and eating well. Stacey Caporaso said it looks like Queenie will recover and will be adopted in the next few days by a member of the Canine Counsel rescue team who found her.
"She's between 9 and 10 [years old], so for her to have gotten through this and do as well as she's doing -- it's nothing short of a miracle," Caporaso said.
Rescuers said the dog's owners, a husband and wife, are in the middle of a divorce, and the wife said she had last seen the dog in early February, when she moved out with her son. When she went to the house last Saturday, she found beer bottles littering the place, Queenie in the bedroom and dog food in the kitchen, rescuers said. The wife called rescuers after finding Queenie, and asked not to be publicly named.
Gross said the SPCA started their investigation as soon as they were notified about Queenie.
"Justice has to be served and that's what we do," he said.