A Syosset man was arrested Wednesday for allegedly neglecting his Shih Tzu dog. Found covered in feces and smelling of urine, the friendly canine was picked up outside the owner’s house and impounded as a stray, Nassau County prosecutors said.
Patrick Benjamin, 30, was arraigned Wednesday on a single charge of failure to provide proper sustenance. Benjamin was conditionally released on probation. He faces a maximum one-year sentence, the Nassau County District Attorney’s office said.
The dog had been seen hanging around outside Benjamin’s home on May 27, prompting calls to local animal control officials. Veterinarians who had treated the Shih Tzu discovered several signs of severe neglect: a lack of nutrition and hydration, poor hygiene and virtually no dental and veterinary care for at least six months, causing the dog to develop rotted teeth, which had begun to fall out, prosecutors said.
The 10-year-old dog’s nails had grown so long that they had curled back and cut into the dog’s paws, the DA’s office said.
“Animals have no means to defend or provide for themselves in the face of severe criminal neglect like that in this case, which is why tips from the community and the cooperation of local officials are so important,” acting Nassau County District Attorney Madeline Singas said in a statement.
Benjamin visited the local shelter where the dog was taken and identified himself as the owner, prosecutors said. He surrendered to the Animal Crimes Unit on Wednesday.