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Farmingdale Couple Convicted of Animal Abuse

They could face up to one year in jail on the charge after discovery of their emaciated dog, Zack.

A Farmingdale couple whose Great Dane was found emaciated from neglect has been convicted of animal neglect by a Nassau County Jury.

Rose Neira, 32, and her husband Danny Neira, 41, a New York City police officer, were convicted of misdemeanor animal neglect after being accused of failing to provide food and medical care for their dog, Zack. The jury took just three hours to convict the couple, whose dog weighed just 87 pounds when it was found by authorities.

The animal, despite extensive rehabilitative efforts by veterinarians including surgery, died about a month later.

Nassau County District Attorney Kathleen Rice said the couple faces up to one year in jail. They are due back in court Dec. 11 for sentencing.

“There is no excuse or explanation for this level of cruelty and neglect, and I am shocked that these two people, one of whom is a police officer, did nothing while Zack wasted away in front of their eyes,” Rice said.

The case dates to Nov. 22, 2010, when district attorney investigators and members of the DA’s Animal Crimes Unit went to the Neiras’ home after receiving multiple tips that an animal was being neglected there.

Investigators found a 2-year-old Great Dane named Zack, "grossly emaciated with protruding ribs and its backbone visible through its skin," Rice said.

When questioned by investigators, Rose Neira initially claimed that the dog’s condition was due to parasites, but she could not provide the name of a veterinarian for the animal, nor could she produce any medication that was being administered to the animal. She stated that she kept the Great Dane in the kitchen, taking it out only once a night, and that she hadn’t sought veterinary treatment for more than a year.

Danny Neira is an officer with the New York Police Department, the district attorney's office said.

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Prosecutors obtained a warrant to seize the dog the following day and the Town of Oyster Bay’s Animal Control transported it to Oyster Bay Animal Hospital, where it was treated by a veterinarian for 10 days.

In addition to the dog’s emaciated appearance, its nails were damaged and overgrown and its ear cavities were caked with dirt and grease. Zack’s multiple health issues forced veterinarians to feed him intravenously, authorities said. 

A normal, healthy Great Dane should weigh between 120 and 150 pounds. Zack succumbed to multiple health problems on Dec. 1, 2010 while still receiving around-the-clock veterinary care.

Assistant District Attorney Matthew Libroia of the Animal Crimes Unit is prosecuting the case for the DA’s Office. The Neiras are represented by Robert DelGrosso.

Numerous reptiles, turtles, birds and fish were also observed living in unsanitary conditions inside the Neira home, many of which were seized by authorities.

Rice issued a thank you to the Town of Oyster Bay, the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation, and the Suffolk County SPCA for their assistance in this case.

“I strongly encourage anyone who is aware of an animal being abused or neglected to contact my office’s Animal Abuse hotline at (516) 571-ACHL,” Rice said.

Video footage of Zack taken by DA Investigators can be viewed on DA Rice’s YouTube page .

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lookyloo December 19, 2012 at 08:11 PM
I CLEARLY recall reading about the couple having 2 children together and two from prior relationships FROM THE MEDIA. Stop blaming the Patch and people who post on it. All I am saying that you should not blame some lady that commented on what was reported in the media for the attention that your ex-husband, boyfriend, whatever caused to his own child. HE DID IT-get it! This "ridculousness"? Abusing and torturing an animal isn't ridiculous, it is sick. As for your kid, I sure hope that he does not suffer what his father and his step mother may have made him witness in seeing that poor animal treated so badly. THAT is what you should be concerned about, not who knows freaking what. Happy Holidays.
Maggie December 20, 2012 at 03:18 AM
Lookyloo....Don't waste your breath on these pieces of garbage,,just like a dirtbag animal abuser to blame everyone else for the problems of their own creation...boo hoo hoo, everyone's picking on my family just because we starved a dog to death and gladly watched it suffer every day while sitting by doing NOTHING! Furthermore, you were being far too generous in wishing the piece of garbage "Happy Holidays"! I hope they are miserable every dam day now through Christmas 2050 knowing that their entire neighborhood, coworkers and friends if they have any know what they did to that one beautiful dog! Hope they enjoy the holidays about as much as that poor dog enjoyed starving to death.
Maggie December 20, 2012 at 03:24 AM
Furthermore, if anyone should have been denied food for a while it should have been the fat dirtbag slob in the photo accompanying this sick story.
Angelina Ojeda December 20, 2012 at 03:32 AM
By the way, Peggy, I am not the person who starved the dog... I am the mother of one of the children. Read through the comments. And , for your information, I'm an avid dog lover, especially Great Danes. I am just as appalled by this event and sadden by the passing of a beautiful animal. So, Peggy, have yourself a Happy Holiday! I can see where everyone is coming from and has a right to say what they want. I'm looking out for the children who had nothing to do with this.
Maggie December 20, 2012 at 04:17 PM
?? Well I admit I am confused as to who you are the mother of, but all I can say is I have zero compassion for anyone who lived in that house and watched that dog starve to death ! Gee even when I was 10 years old I'd know if my toy terrier"Toby" was hungry! Surely that dog had to come begging at the table for a scrap of food while that fat slob sat there stuffing her disgusting face. Then again, they probably kicked the crap out of the poor thing if it did. I have no compassion for any of them..NONE. Hope they rot in hell with their hero Michael Vick!

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