A North Merrick woman was charged with animal cruelty and child endangerment after police found her two daughters and 15 dogs in “unsanitary living conditions,” including dog feces and urine on the floor of their home, police said.
Yvette Seibert, 36, of Aster Avenue, surrendered at the First Precinct in Baldwin on Tuesday and faces four counts of endangering the welfare of a child, neglect of an impounded animal, and torturing or injuring animals by failing to provide sustenance, police said.
Her daughters, ages 8 and 15, were taken to a hospital for evaluation after neighbors described them as hungry and frequently asking for food, police said. They were not deemed malnourished and left the hospital in “good condition,” said Nassau police Det. Lt. Richard LeBrun.
The dogs, described as terriers, were taken to the Town of Hempstead Animal Shelter, police said.
The dogs “sat in urine within their cages and were matted and caked with feces and were wet with urine,” according to court documents.
Seibert’s attorney, Michael Helfer of Bellmore, said the children “were not malnourished or mistreated” and were “well-taken care of.”
“Is she the ‘Good Housekeeping’ parent of the month? Maybe not. But does it rise to the level of what the authorities made it out to be? I don’t think so,” Helfer said.
The lawyer said Seibert worked recently as a manager in a retail store and her late husband was a Suffolk police officer.
Nassau County Executive Edward Mangano’s office on July 11 received from neighbors an anonymous letter detailing Seibert’s troubles and forwarded it to police, said Mangano spokesman Brian Nevin.
Police contacted Child Protective Services and the Nassau County Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals, which responded to the home Tuesday, authorities said.
“The home was found to have very unsanitary living conditions, such as dried feces on the floor and an extremely foul smell in the home,” said LeBrun, who said there were crates with dogs inside stacked against bedroom doors.
At her arraignment Wednesday, Seibert was conditionally released to probation, according to a spokesman for the Nassau district attorney’s office.
Nassau District Court Judge Paul Meli issued temporary orders of protection for the children, said spokesman Brendan Brosh. The judge also ordered Seibert to undergo a mental health evaluation and parenting classes.
With Gary Dymski