An East Northport couple is charged with animal cruelty after their 10-year-old greyhound was found in a thunderstorm, severely emaciated, the Suffolk County SPCA said Friday.

In a case that took nine months to build, Stephen and Kathleen Jackman were arraigned earlier this month and are scheduled to next appear at First District Court in Central Islip in June, the SPCA said.

Chief Roy Gross of the Suffolk SPCA said Friday the male greyhound, a former racing dog named Charlie, was found last April, roaming streets near its home in a thunderstorm.

The dog was found by a Good Samaritan, Gross said, and weighed 55 pounds. Male racing greyhounds normally weight between 65 and 80 pounds, according to several greyhound racing websites.

"It was found the same day that it got out of the house," Gross said. "It came in skin and bones, it could hardly stand."

Gross said Charlie had to be lifted in a van for transportation to a Commack veterinary clinic, where it was treated for severe emaciation. The clinic then sent Charlie to a greyhound rescue organization, Gross said.

The vet who treated the dog said his condition indicated many weeks of malnutrition, Gross said. He said the dog is now about 70 pounds.

"It took some time for the dog to put weight back on," Gross said, "and it took time for us to put together the investigation. It was a very thorough investigation."

Charlie had tattoos behind its ears, identifying him as a former racing dog. The SPCA used the identifying tattoos to trace Charlie's adoption to the Jackmans, Gross said.

A call to the Jackmans' home Friday afternoon was not immediately returned. It was not clear if they had an attorney.

Stephen Jackman is scheduled to appear in court on June 6, Kathleen Jackman on June 11; each is charged with one count of torturing and injuring animals.

If the Jackmans are convicted, they would be among the first to be placed on Suffolk County's new animal abuse registry, approved in 2010 as the first in the nation. The registry will be launched May 7. It requires abusers to list their addresses and aliases for 10 years and also supply a photograph.

With Ellen Yan

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