MINEOLA, N.Y. – Nassau County District Attorney Madeline Singas announced the arrest of a Uniondale man for allegedly starving his Shepherd mix to death and failing to provide enough food to a puppy, a German Shepherd.
Harold Nichols, 70, was arraigned yesterday by Judge Eileen Goggin and charged with two counts of Overdriving, Torturing and Injuring Animals; Failure to Provide Proper Sustenance (an A misdemeanor). Bail was set at $2,000 bond or $1,000 cash and the defendant is due back in court January 17. The defendant is also prohibited from owning an animal during the pendency of this case. If convicted of the top count he faces one year in jail.
“This defendant’s alleged neglect left an innocent dog to die of starvation and a young puppy hungry and underweight,” DA Singas said. “This kind of cruelty will not be tolerated in Nassau County. I’m grateful to the Town of Hempstead Animal Shelter for the care they provided to nurse this puppy back to health.”
DA Singas said on December 14, 2018, the defendant allegedly contacted the Town of Hempstead Animal Shelter to tell the shelter that his four-year-old male Shepherd mix named Shek had died. When shelter officials arrived at the defendant’s Uniondale home, they allegedly saw the deceased dog in a kennel in the backyard and noticed it was extremely underweight. The door of the kennel was allegedly wired shut, with grass and leaves piled up at the bottom of the gate blocking entry.
The defendant allegedly fed the dog by putting food in plastic newspaper bags and throwing the bags into the kennel. A veterinary examination found the dog to be 25-30 pounds underweight, with sunken eyes and fly bite lesions on both ears. Plastic bags were also found in his digestive tract.
While responding to the deceased dog, shelter officials allegedly found a four-to-eight-month-old German Shepherd puppy, alive, in a metal kennel, also in the backyard. A veterinary examination found the puppy, named Jay’s Ultimate Falco, to be slightly underweight, and extremely hungry when given food. The defendant also allegedly fed this dog by putting food in plastic newspaper bags and throwing the bags into the kennel. Scraps of plastic were allegedly found around and in the dog’s kennel.
Assistant District Attorney Jamie Mattera of DA Singas’ Animal Crimes Unit is prosecuting this case. The defendant will retain his own counsel on his next court date.
The charges are merely accusations, and the defendant is presumed innocent until and unless found guilty.