Police: Long Island Woman Starved Pet Great Dane

Rose Neira

A Long Island woman faces up to a year in jail after police say she failed to provide food and medical care for her two-year-old Great Dane who ultimately died.

According to authorities, Rose Neira, 30, of Farmingdale was arrested Thursday by Nassau County DA investigators and charged with misdemeanor counts of overdriving, torturing and injuring an animal and failure to provide proper sustenance.

Nassau County District Attorney Kathleen Rice launched an investigation on Neira after her office's animal cruelty division received multiple tips claiming that an animal was being neglected at the Farmingdale residence. When authorities arrived to the home, they discovered a two-year-old Great Dane named Zack who was described as being "grossly emaciated" with protruding ribs and its backbone was visible through its skin, Rice said.

A normal, healthy Great Dane should weigh between 125 and 150 pounds, however Zach weighed a shocking 82 pounds.

When questioned about the dog's appearance, Neira claimed it was due to parasites.Investigators were doubtful about Neira's claims and moved forward with obtaining a warrant to seize the dog the following day. Zack was transported to Oyster Bay Animal Hospital where he was treated for 10 days before succumbing to heart-related health problems, doctors said.

Veterinary evidence suggests that Zack's heart was simply too weak after months of malnourishment and neglect.

"This defendant mercilessly stood by and watched this poor animal starve to death," Rice said in a statement. "Our pets depend on us for everything from food to water to medical care, and are as vulnerable as children. There is no excuse for this level of cruelty."

Neira is due back in court on January 3.