Mineola, NY - July 15, 2015 - Acting Nassau County District Attorney Madeline Singas announced that a Port Washington man was sentenced to jail and ordered not to own any animals for five years, for neglect of his schnauzer mix so severe that the dog almost needed to have an amputation.
Oseas Bracamonte, 39, was sentenced to six months in jail and ordered not to own animals for five years, by Nassau County District Court Judge Eric Bjorneby. The judge also ordered restitution to North Shore Animal League of America (NSALA) for $6,105. Prosecutors asked for the maximum jail sentence of one year in addition to the ownership order. Bracamonte pleaded guilty to the one charge in the case, misdemeanor animal cruelty, in March.
“This was one of the worst cases of neglect we’ve ever seen on a single animal,” Acting DA Singas said. “Zara was treated so poorly that she almost certainly would have died if it weren’t for a tip going to police and the quick, miraculous work done by Animal League America. I thank our partners in our aggressive animal crime prosecutions for helping us to stand up for these defenseless creatures and hold their abusers accountable.”
“We support the jail sentence and fine imposed by Judge Eric Bjorneby, which we believe sends a strong message that animal abuse will not be tolerated. Our deepest thanks to Acting District Attorney Madeline Singas and Jed Painter, who both gave a voice to Zara during the prosecution and continue to speak for all animals who cannot speak up for themselves,” said Joanne Yohannan, Senior Vice President of Operations, North Shore Animal League America.
Acting DA Singas said that on September 21, 2014, Port Washington Police Officers responded to a call regarding what appeared to be a dead dog left in a large crate, covered tightly in a black garbage bag left in the vestibule of an apartment in Port Washington. The dog, a female schnauzer mix named Zara, was taken to NSALA as a result of her condition.
NSALA shaved down Zara, whose matting weighed approximately 10 pounds. Her nails were approximately four inches long, and the hair around her left paw was so matted that it caused a strangulation injury. One digit had to be amputated due to a cut-off blood supply. Zara had a skin infection all over her body and so severe that the vet was unable to perform the amputation surgery until waiting for the infection to heal. Zara also suffered from severe muscle atrophy. Urine and feces was embedded in her matted coat.
Bracamonte, Zara’s owner, was arrested that day at the Port Washington Police Department. Zara was forfeited to NSALA, and was adopted by a family in March.
Earlier this year, Acting DA Singas made a pledge to use criminal asset forfeiture funds – the monetary proceeds derived from criminal cases – to relieve taxpayers and local shelters of the cost of the medical care, boarding, rehabilitation and rehoming of any animal seized by law enforcement in connection with animal cruelty prosecutions. The first reimbursement in this program went to NSALA in May, for another case.
Members of the public can report animal crimes directly to Acting DA Singas’ Animal Crimes Unit in four ways:
• By walking in to the DA’s Criminal Complaint Unit at 272 Old Country Road, Mineola, N.Y.
• By calling the DA’s 24 hour Animal Crimes Tipline at (516) 571-7755
• Via website complaint form here
• Via email
The public should always call 911 in cases of active emergencies or imminent danger.
Assistant District Attorney Stephanie Hernan of Acting DA Madeline Singas’ Animal Crimes Unit is prosecuting the case. Bracamonte is represented by the Legal Aid Society.