A Dix Hills nurse faces animal abuse charges after he turned over a dog that had eaten steel and drywall and was starved for up to three months, the Nassau district attorney’s office said Wednesday.
Paul Matthews, 45, took Megatron — a German shepherd mix later renamed Oakley by rescuers — to the Town of Hempstead Animal Shelter on Dec. 18, telling workers there that he had found the dog on Jericho Turnpike in Floral Park, prosecutors said.
A photo shows Oakley’s bones sticking out at his ribs, hips, shoulders and elsewhere. The dog, estimated to be 2 to 4 years old, had been starved for two to three months and was about 25 pounds underweight at 57 pounds, prosecutors said.
Investigators determined Matthews had owned Oakley for at least two years and was the dog’s primary caregiver, officials said.
Matthews was arraigned Wednesday on animal cruelty charges of failure to provide proper sustenance and abandonment. He was conditionally released and is due to return to court Feb. 22. He faces up to 1 year in jail and/or a fine.
Neither Matthews nor his attorney could be reached Wednesday evening.
Oakley underwent surgery after an X-ray found a stomach blockage caused by steel debris and drywall, authorities said.
Once the dog recovers, it will be put up for adoption, prosecutors said.
“Cases like these are especially heartbreaking, because they are very preventable,” said District Attorney Madeline Singas. “We hope Oakley makes a full recovery and can be adopted by a loving family very soon.”