Farmingdale resident Rose Neira was arrested Nov. 22 after the Nassau District Attorney's Animal Cruelty Unit received tips saying that an animal was being neglected at her address.
At Neira's home investigators found Zack, an "emaciated" two-year-old Great Dane that weighed 82 pounds with protruding ribs, visible backbone, damaged nails and ear cavities caked with dirt. Great Danes typically weigh between 125 and 150 pounds, according to the DA office.
Neira told investigators that the dog's condition was due to parasites, but then could not provide the name of a veterinarian who evaluated the dog. She ultimately said that she kept the Great Dane in the kitchen, taking it out only once a night, and that the dog hadn't received veterinary treatment for more than a year.
Prosecutors seized the dog after obtaining a warrant and the Town of Oyster Bay's Animal Control transported the dog to Oyster Bay Animal Hospital. The dog died of heart problems 10 days later that veterinarians blamed on malnourishment.
"This defendant mercilessly stood by and watched this poor animal starve to death," Nassau DA Kathleen Rice said. "Our pets depend on us for everything from food to water to medical care and are as vulnerable as children. There is no excuse for this level of cruelty."
Rice is charging Neira with misdemeanor accounts of animal cruelty for torturing and injuring her pet Great Dane and failing to provide proper sustenance. Neira is due back in court on Jan. 2 and faces up to one year in jail if convicted.