A Deer Park woman was charged with severe animal neglect Wednesday after authorities found her two pit bulls emaciated and chained to a tree in her yard, Suffolk County police said.
Sharon Martinez, 55, of 61 Lincoln Ave., was issued an appearance ticket after police responded to a 911 call about the two dogs, Nina and Papa, being neglected, police said.
First Precinct Officer James Johnson and John Collins of the Suffolk County SPCA discovered the dogs chained to a tree in the snow-covered rear yard Sunday.
The dogs were taken to Veterinary Medical Center of Long Island in West Islip, where they were examined and found to be "severely neglected," police said.
Martinez denied neglecting the dogs, saying she provided food daily and veterinary care after rescuing them from their former owners six months ago.
When she first got them from young men in the neighborhood, Nina could barely walk due to a leg injury, she said, and both were emaciated. Martinez, an unemployed writer, said she has rescued other dogs in the past and that the young men were leaving the area and didn't have a place for the pit bull mixes.
"They were in worse condition and I nursed them back to health," she said. "If I didn't feed them twice a day, I give them a big meal once a day. I gave them hard food and wet food."
The pair have been kept in her yard during the day and inside the house when she's home, Martinez said.
Police said the two dogs have been placed in the Town of Babylon's animal shelter.
Martinez said authorities informed her Wednesday that a veterinary check discovered parasites in the dogs: "They said the vet check said they had worms so they were losing weight. They must have just gotten worms. . . . I did not do this to the animals, I swear to God."