A Bay Shore woman has been charged with 11 counts of animal cruelty because she kept her 10 birds and a dog confined in “unhealthy, unsanitary, deplorable conditions,” the Suffolk County SPCA said Monday.
Michelle Benners-Pratt, 51, of North Thompson Drive, was charged by the SPCA after its detectives went to her apartment on Saturday to investigate a report of animal neglect, according to a news release.
Suffolk County SPCA Chief Roy Gross said in a telephone interview Monday that the detectives found 10 birds in cages and a cavachon loose in the apartment.
“The conditions were absolutely deplorable,” Gross said. “The fire department had to be called to ventilate the apartment because of all the feces and flies and they had to wear hazmat suits. There were flies throughout the apartment.”
Gross said that each of the counts is a misdemeanor punishable by a year in jail or a $1,000 fine. He said Benners-Pratt received a summons and is scheduled to appear July 29 in First District in Central Islip to answer to the charges.
Benners-Pratt could not immediately be reached for comment.
Gross said the animals were removed from the apartment and taken to the Town of Islip’s animal shelter for health evaluations and could possibly be put up for adoption.