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Dog's owner charged with criminal neglect, Nassau DA says

Stanley, a Shih Tzu picked up as a

Stanley, a Shih Tzu picked up as a stray in Syosset on May 27, 2015, is all cleaned up after having been matted, covered in feces, with overgrown nails that dug into his paws and with gums and teeth in such bad state that several were rotting off. Credit: Nassau County District Attorney

The owner of a dog picked up as a Syosset stray was charged Wednesday with animal neglect because his pet had rotting teeth, feces-matted fur and nails so overgrown that they dug into his paws, the Nassau district attorney's office said.

Patrick Benjamin, 30, of Syosset, failed to properly care for Stanley, a shih tzu about 15 years-old, for at least six months, authorities said.

The dog was found wandering outside Benjamin's home on May 27 and the owner went to the animal shelter to look for him and claim him, prosecutors said.

Benjamin surrendered to the district attorney's animal crimes unit Wednesday and was arraigned on a misdemeanor charge of criminal neglect by failing to provide proper sustenance. He was released to probation under certain conditions.

"Animals have no means to defend or provide for themselves in the face of severe criminal neglect like that in this case, which is why tips from the community and the cooperation of local officials are so important," acting District Attorney Madeline Singas said in a news release.

Shelter and private veterinarians concluded the dog had been deprived of proper food, water, dental and veterinary care, prosecutors said. Stanley's fur was dirty with urine and feces, and his gums and teeth were in such bad shape that several rotting teeth were falling out, authorities said. His long nails were curled inward and cut into his paws, prosecutors said.

Benjamin's attorneys could not be immediately reached Wednesday afternoon.

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