MINEOLA, N.Y. – Nassau County District Attorney Madeline Singas announced the arrest of a Dix Hills man for allegedly neglecting his dog to the point of emaciation.
Paul Matthews, 45, was arraigned today before Judge Elizabeth Fox-McDonough and charged with Overdriving, Torturing and Injuring Animals; Failure to Provide Proper Sustenance to an Animal (an A misdemeanor) and Abandonment of Animals (an unclassified misdemeanor). The defendant was conditionally released to probation and is due back in court February 22.
“Oakley was severely malnourished and underweight when he was surrendered at the shelter,” DA Singas said. “Cases like these are especially heartbreaking, because they are very preventable - we hope Oakley makes a full recovery and can be adopted by a loving family very soon.”
DA Singas said on December 18, 2017 the defendant surrendered Oakley, a two to four-year-old German Shepherd mix to the Town of Hempstead Animal Shelter, claiming he found the dog on Jericho Turnpike in Floral Park. An examination during intake revealed that Oakley was severely emaciated and weighed only 57 pounds – approximately 25 pounds underweight. A stomach x-ray found a blockage caused by sheetrock and steel debris and a veterinarian determined the dog had been starved for approximately two to three months by the time he was surrendered at the shelter. Surgery was performed on Oakley to remove the debris.
An investigation by the NCDA revealed the defendant, a registered nurse, had been Oakley’s owner and caregiver for at least two years. Oakley will be placed up for adoption once he fully recovers.
Assistant District Attorney Brooke Salvatore of DA Singas’ Animal Crimes Unit is prosecuting this case. The defendant is represented by Chris Bechtle, Esq.
The NCDA thanks the Town of Hempstead Animal Shelter for their assistance in this case.
The charges are merely accusations and the defendant is presumed innocent until and unless found guilty.