YONKERS, N.Y. - A Yonkers dog owner has been arrested on animal cruelty charges after he was evicted and abandoned his puppy to fend for itself in the empty apartment.
On Wednesday, the SPCA of Westchester announced that Paul Vega, 35 was arrested following a two-month joint investigation between their Human Law Enforcement Unit and Yonkers Police Officer William Pataky, and charged with animal cruelty for abandoning his Shar Pei-mix dog for an extended period of time.
According to the SPCA’s Human Law Enforcement Director Ernest Lungaro, on Aug. 23, the Yonkers Animal Shelter responded to a Morningside Avenue apartment building due to an eviction notice that involved a dog.
Upon arrival, responding officers discovered that the dog was in an advanced state of emaciation, dehydration and “extreme neglect.” She was immediately taken to Central Animal Hospital for emergency medical treatment.
Following an examination, the veterinarian reported that the dog’s state of emaciation was consistent with a prolonged period of starvation. When she was first found, the dog’s ribs were visible through her coat, and her muscles and hind limbs had begun to atrophy from a lack of exercise. She had also not been groomed for a while, according to the SPCA.
“We are grateful to citizens who report these incidents as quickly as possible,” Shannon Laukhuf, the Executive Director of the SPCA of Westchester said in a statement. “Time is of the essence in animal abuse cases and our officers are ready to respond.”
The SPCA asks anyone that suspects or witnesses animal cruelty or neglect to call the police or the SPCA of Westchester’s confidential animal cruelty hotline at (914) 941-7797.