Three people have been charged in brutally harming a pit bull puppy when she was just three months old, according to Newsday.
Lee Hughes, 39, of Westbury, Shawanna Hughes, 37, of Oyster Bay, and Elmont veterinary assistant Reginald Smith, 33, of Westbury, were charged with counts of animal cruelty, practicing veterinary medicine without a license, and conspiracy, after a month-long investigation by the state attorney general and Nassau County Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals, said the report.
The three are believed to be responsible for mutilating Miss Harper, a seven-month-old pit bull that was reportedly turned in with the devastating injuries by an unnamed witness.
Miss Harper was the only animal found in the defendants' possession, officials told Patch. However, Shawanna Hughes reportedly wanted the badly maimed Miss Harper out of the house because she and Lee Hughes had a pending animal abuse case on their record, said Newsday.
When Miss Harper was rescued at about 11 weeks old, her left leg had been partially amputated and both ears were severed, in addition to a number of infected wounds and cuts that will likely lead to permanent scarring, doctors said.
"Her scars are most likely permanent, damage to her back toes is likely permanent, and she could have surgery to repair her ears, but it may not come to that," said Dr. Kim Barlowe of My Pet's Vet in Huntington where Miss Harper is staying. “Our main concern is rehabilitating her and finding her a good home.”When the perfect owner is found for Miss Harper, the Nassau County Police Benevolent Association will do their part to make sure she has the best care for most of her life. They said they will donate up to $5,000 for the pup’s rehabilitation and care, which will greatly “cover and insure Miss Harper has the proper medical care forever,” said Gary Rogers of NCSPCA, reported Newsday.
No further surgeries are required so far for Miss Harper, but the next step is getting her used to a prosthetic leg. Unfortunately, that may mean amputating her remaining back leg so that she can balance herself and walk properly.
"Luckily, the doctors said she probably won't get much bigger than she already is, which is good for her recovery," said Det. Bob Sowers of NCSPCA. Miss Harper weighs under 40 pounds, doctors said.
"I want a person who knows the breed and they have to be close by so she can get ongoing medical treatment," said Sowers, though the hospital has received calls from pet lovers across the country.
To Report Animal Cruelty call 516-THE-SPCA, email email@example.com or use their online form.