48° Good Afternoon
48° Good Afternoon
Long IslandNassau

Hempstead woman caught on video charged with animal neglect, DA says

Nassau authorities say two women appear to have

Nassau authorities say two women appear to have dropped off an injured poodle-mix dog Tuesday night, Oct. 13, 2015, outside a veterinary clinic on Main Street in Hempstead. Credit: NCDA

A Hempstead woman was arrested on a charge of animal neglect Thursday, a day after a dog in bloody bandages was abandoned outside a local animal clinic, authorities said.

Numerous tips from the public led to the arrest of Tamara Copeland, 56, who is charged with misdemeanor animal neglect and animal abandonment, according to the Nassau district attorney's office.

Judge Darlene Harris set Copeland's bail at $2,500 cash, or $5,000 bond. She is scheduled to return to court Monday, prosecutors said.

Copeland is scheduled for arraignment later Thursday.

She was one of two women seen on a surveillance video leaving a package Tuesday morning in front of a Main Street veterinary office in Hempstead, prosecutors said.

The package turned out to be a poodle mix dog that had been missing for almost two years, Nassau prosecutors had said Wednesday in releasing the video to get the public's help.

The dog, named Niño, had exposed bone and flesh, skin lesions and other injuries when an employee of a Hempstead animal clinic found him lying on a small bed outside the entry about 9 a.m. Tuesday, the Nassau district attorney's office said.

Surveillance video showed the two women walking on Main Street about 8 a.m., and one of them, who was pushing a cart, disappeared from the camera view, then returned with what appears to be a wrapped package.

She left the package in front of the Main Street clinic, then quickly walked away.

A microchip in the dog led to his owner in Uniondale, and she said he had disappeared from her yard almost two years ago, according to authorities. She received Niño in 2000 as a birthday gift from her daughter, officials said.

Niño was treated at the Hempstead Town animal shelter and then taken to another private veterinary facility where he will be reunited with his owner, prosecutors said.

The district attorney's office declined to give more details, saying investigators are looking into whether the dog was stolen.

Prosecutors said anyone with information on Niño's case could call the district attorney's animal crimes unit at a 24-hour tip line, 516-571-7755, option 8.


We're revamping our Comments section. Learn more and share your input.