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Woman arrested in Amityville puppy-dumping case

The male puppy on top, one of two

The male puppy on top, one of two malnourished pit pull puppies dumped in Riverhead Dec. 18, has died after a severe case of mange, said the Suffolk County Society for Prevention of Cruelty to Animals. Credit: Suffolk County SPCA

An Amityville woman faces animal cruelty and abandonment charges in the dumping of two emaciated, severely ill puppies in a window well in Riverhead earlier this month, the Suffolk County Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals announced Sunday.

Stephen Laton, chief of operations for the SPCA, said the agency received a tip Saturday implicating Swaneka P.J. Danzler, 21.

When two SPCA officers interviewed Danzler the same day, she allegedly admitted to dumping the pit bull puppies at the Riverhead Animal Hospital at 1 a.m. on Dec. 18.

The two sick puppies were part of a litter from Danzler's dog, Laton said.

"She said she thought the Riverhead Animal Hospital was open 24 hours," Laton said.

Danzler dumped the puppies -- a male and a female, both suffering from severe mange and near death -- in a 6-foot-deep window well at the hospital because "she didn't want them to run away," Laton said.

The male puppy, which was in worse condition than the female, died on Christmas night at the Mattituck Laurel Veterinary Hospital in Laurel, where it was being treated. The female puppy is under veterinary care at the Southold Animal Shelter and has a prospective adoptive family lined up, Laton said.

"She's doing better than she was," said Laton, who had no information on the condition of other puppies in the litter. He said Danzler still had the mother dog.

The society had offered a $3,000 reward for information leading to the arrest and conviction of the perpetrator, but Laton said he did not know if the reward played a part in the tip.

Laton said Danzler is scheduled to be arraigned in late January at Riverhead Town Justice Court. She faces up to a year in jail on each charge, in addition to fines, for the two misdemeanor charges, Laton said.

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