Severely malnourished dog, Athena, had open wounds and was left in crate outside Bobbi and the Strays on July 7; NCDA and Nassau SPCA asked for public’s help after dog was abandoned
MINEOLA, N.Y. – Nassau County District Attorney Anne T. Donnelly announced that a West Hempstead man was arrested yesterday for allegedly abandoning his severely malnourished dog outside an animal rescue earlier this month.
Damian Douglas, 41, of West Hempstead, is charged with AML 353: Overdriving, Torturing and Injuring Animals; Failure to Provide Proper Sustenance (an A misdemeanor); and AML 355: Abandonment of Animals (an A misdemeanor). The defendant was arraigned before Judge David Levine and the defendant was released on his own recognizance as required by law. The defendant is due back in court on August 2 and faces a potential maximum of 364 days incarceration.
Under New York State law the charges are not bail-qualifying.
“The defendant allegedly kept his dog in a crate outside his home for at least eight months and allowed his animal to suffer open sores, severe malnourishment and muscle wasting,” DA Donnelly said. “This is one of the worst cases of extreme confinement and animal cruelty we’ve ever seen in this county. We take crimes against defenseless animals very seriously. I thank the countless members of the public who called our hotline to assist in this investigation.”
“The Nassau County SPCA applauds the District Attorney and her Animal Crimes Unit for the swift arrest of a defendant for the horrible crimes that Athena endured,” said Gary Rogers of the Nassau County SPCA.
DA Donnelly said that, according to the preliminary investigation, Damian Douglas dropped his approximately four-year old severely emaciated dog outside the Bobbi and the Strays Animal Shelter located at 2 Rider Place in Freeport at approximately 4:44 a.m. on July 7.
The dog had numerous open sores and severe muscle mass wasting and was left in a crate outside the shelter.
A shelter volunteer discovered the animal, and she was transported to the Howard Beach Animal Clinic for emergency care.
The defendant allegedly purchased the animal from a breeder in Greensboro, North Carolina, and the animal was named “Skyy.” Douglas allegedly started keeping the dog in a crate in an enclosed porch outside his home in November and took the animal out for periodic walks. Beginning in February, the defendant allegedly stopped taking the dog out of the crate altogether.
The dog has since been renamed “Athena” by veterinary staff.
The NCDA thanks our partners at the Freeport Police Department, Nassau SPCA, Bobbi and the Strays and the Howard Beach Animal Clinic for their assistance in this case.
Unit Chief Stephanie Hernan of the Animal Crimes Unit is prosecuting the case. Douglas is represented by the Legal Aid Society.
The charges are merely accusations and the defendant is presumed innocent until and unless found guilty.