A Long Island, New York, woman pleaded not guilty to seven counts of aggravated cruelty to animals after authorities allegedly found a dead pit bull tied to a tree and six emaciated dogs in her care.
Veleda Bailey, 35, was charged in November 2016 when the Suffolk County SPCA reportedly found one of her dogs wandering around the Wyandanch neighborhood.
Suffolk SPCA Chief Roy Gross told WABC in November that Bailey “was barbecuing hamburgers” when authorities found her children playing with the deceased dog, along with two other malnourished dogs and three puppies in the residence.
“You could see the other dogs’ skin and bones,” Gross described to 1010 WINS.
Linda Klampfl, director of Almost Home Animal Rescue, told NBC New York the chained dog was decomposing for at least a week.
Klampfl said, “I have been doing rescue and community outreach for many years and have never seen such disregard for living creatures.”
Bailey allegedly claimed she couldn’t afford to feed the dogs. The surviving canines were removed from the residence and treated for extreme malnourishment and dehydration.
“There is no excuse for this,” Klampfl told WABC. “All you would have to do is pick up the phone and make a call…call the local animal shelters, ‘I need help.’ We are there to help you…if you can’t take care of your animals, make a call and your animals would be taken care of.”
Two pit bulls are being put up for adoption in addition to nine puppies born after the rescue.
Bailey is also charged with six counts of failure to provide proper sustenance to an animal in her care, Suffolk County District Attorney Thomas Spota said. State Supreme Court Justice Fernando Camacho set cash bail for Bailey at $25,000 or $50,000 bond.
[Feature Photo: Suffolk County District Attorney’s Office]