A Port Washington man was sentenced to 6 months in jail Tuesday and ordered not to own any animals for five years after he neglected his schnauzer mix so severely that the dog nearly needed an amputation, the Nassau County District Attorney's office said.
Oseas Bracamonte, 39, was also ordered to pay $6,105 restitution to the North Shore Animal League of America by Nassau County District Court Judge Eric Bjorneby. Bracamonte pleaded guilty to the sole charge of misdemeanor animal cruelty in March.
"This was one of the worst cases of neglect we've ever seen on a single animal," acting District Attorney Madeline Singas said in a statement. "Zara was treated so poorly that she almost certainly would have died if it weren't for a tip going to police and the quick, miraculous work done by Animal League America."
Prosecutors said on Sept. 21 last year, Port Washington police responded to a call about "what appeared to be a dead dog left in a large crate, covered tightly in a black garbage bag left in the vestibule of an apartment." The female schnauzer mix was taken to NSALA, where she was rehabilitated. She was given the name Zara by one of her new caretakers after her rescue, according to NSALA.
When the dog was shaved down, her matted coat alone weighed about 10 pounds, and was embedded with bugs, urine and feces, prosecutors said. Her nails were 4 inches long, and the hair around her left paw was so matted it caused a strangulation injury, and one digit nearly had to amputated, prosecutors said. She also had a severe skin infection all over her body, and suffered from severe muscle atrophy.
Bracamonte, Zara's owner, was arrested the day Zara was discovered. He was represented by the Legal Aid Society, which does not comment on individual cases.
Zara has since recovered and was adopted in March, according to NSALA. Her new name is derived from the Arabic word "Zahra," which means to blossom, according to the group's website.
Animal crimes can be reported directly to the district attorney's Animal Crimes Unit in the following ways:
By walking in to the DA's Criminal Complaint Unit at 272 Old Country Rd. in Mineola
By calling the DA's 24-hour Animal Crimes Tipline at 516-571-7755, option 8
Via website complaint form at nassauda.org
Via email to AnimalCrimesUnit@nassauda.org