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West Islip man charged in drowning of family dog in canal near home

John Shultz, 66, of West Islip, was arrested

John Shultz, 66, of West Islip, was arrested Friday, May 15, 2015, on animal cruelty charges eight months after his dog's death. Suffolk County police and SPCA officials said Schultz placed a cinder block around his dog's neck and drowned the 7-year-old female Rottweiler mix in a canal behind his home on Secatogue Lane East in September. Photo Credit: Suffolk County SPCA

A West Islip man has been charged with chaining a cinder block around the neck of his family's dog last September and drowning it in a canal behind his home, the Suffolk SPCA said Saturday.

John Shultz, 66, of Secatogue Lane East, was arrested Friday morning after an eight-month investigation by Suffolk County police and the SPCA and charged with felony animal cruelty.

Shultz was arraigned Saturday in First District Court in Central Islip and released on his own recognizance. He faces up to 2 years in prison.

A resident of Secatogue Lane East found Sammy, a 7-year-old female Rottweiler mix, floating in a canal behind his home on Sept. 18. The brown and tan dog was alive when it was thrown in the water, said Roy Gross, chief of the Suffolk's Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals.

The Suffolk County SPCA took the dog to a veterinary clinic where a necropsy was performed, and investigators found changes in the lungs consistent with drowning.

"This was a heinous act of cruelty," Gross said. "Imagine how this dog must have suffered."

A tip led to Shultz's arrest, Gross said.

A tip also led to the 2010 arrest of Claudette Lacast of Manorville, who was convicted by a jury of animal neglect on Friday, the SPCA announced.

Lacast was arrested in December 2010 after a Westhampton veterinarian at Bideawee animal hospital alerted police to the condition of her 3-month-old mixed breed puppy. The male puppy had hypothermia, severe emaciation and frostbite on its ears.

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