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Westbury man charged with animal abuse after bringing emaciated dog to vet, says DA's office

Jermell Blackman, 34, of Westbury, was arraigned March

Jermell Blackman, 34, of Westbury, was arraigned March 16, 2015 on misdemeanor animal abuse. Credit: Nassau district attorney's office

A Westbury man who brought his "emaciated" dog to a veterinarian was charged with animal abuse Monday after a necropsy showed wood and plastic in her system, the Nassau district attorney's office said.

Jermell Blackman, 34, told veterinarians that he thought Scotia, a pit bull-terrier mix, had been poisoned because she was normally a high-energy dog who showed no signs of illness until Feb. 3, when he took her to a Westbury animal hospital, the court complaint said.

But an exam showed so many problems that she was euthanized after 40 minutes of efforts to save her proved futile, according to acting District Attorney Madeline Singas.

The dog, a 2-year-old female, was so "ice cold to the touch" that her temperature did not register on a thermometer, prosecutors said. Her heart rate was no more than 40 beats per minute, less than the normal 80 to 120 beats per minute for a dog, court papers said. She tested positive for the often-deadly parvo virus, which can cause bloody diarrhea, a condition she had, the complaint said. She had sores, was filthy and reeked of urine, papers said.

Prosecutors believe the dog, who was severely underweight, ate the wood and plastic because she was hungry.

Blackman, of 263 Costar St., was arraigned on misdemeanor animal abuse and released on his own recognizance. He and his attorneys could not be immediately reached.

A Cornell University necropsy showed Scotia also had several tooth fractures, skin wounds and healing wounds. The Westbury veterinarian said she was suffering from malnutrition and her temperature was the result of "prolonged exposure" to freezing temperatures," the complaint said.

"During one of the coldest winters in recent memory, it is unconscionable that anyone would subject an animal in their care to freezing conditions without adequate food or shelter," Singas said in a statement.

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