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DA: Oyster Bay Woman Sentenced in Animal Abuse Case

One of the dogs belonging to Hughes whose leg was amputated. Credit: File Photo
One of the dogs belonging to Hughes whose leg was amputated. Credit: File Photo

An Oyster Bay woman was sentenced Wednesday for failing to provide proper veterinary care for a severe injury suffered by her dog, Snowball, leading to amputation of one of the dog’s legs, authorities said.

Nassau County District Attorney Kathleen Rice’s office said Shawanna Hughes, 37, was sentenced to 30 days in jail and three years probation, along with an order precluding her from owning animals for five years and an agreement to abide by spot checks by law enforcement. In addition, Hughes was also ordered to pay $200 in fines.

Hughes had pleaded guilty in March to one count of failure to provide proper sustenance, an animal cruelty charge under New York State’s Agriculture and Markets Law. She was arrested in March 2013 for failing to provide veterinary care in October 2012 through December of 2012 for a broken leg that had gone untreated and healed incorrectly, causing permanent disfigurement to the animal. Snowball’s leg needed to be amputated due to the incorrect healing and pain to the dog.

“This defendant left this serious injury untreated for weeks, causing pain and severe disfigurement to a defenseless animal,” Rice said. “This sentence ensures that Ms. Hughes will not be able to subject any other animals to cruel neglect for a substantial period of time, and will be held accountable for her actions that led to an innocent animal losing its leg.”

Snowball was adopted by private citizens, officials said. After a few surgeries, the dog is in good condition.

Hughes was also sentenced Wednesday to nine months in jail for violating probation in an unrelated case, involving driving while under the influence of drugs. Sentencing in both cases will run concurrent to each other, according to the DA’s office.

Hughes’s husband and co-defendant, Lee Hughes, 39, also pleaded guilty on Feb. 26 to one count of failure to provide proper sustenance for failing to provide veterinary care for Snowball. Lee Hughes is due back in court on June 5.

Shawanna Hughes has also been charged with two counts of third-degree criminal possession of a controlled substance and two counts of third-degree criminal sale of a controlled substance for the possession and sale of crack cocaine in Oyster Bay in January 2014. Hughes is due back in court on May 28 in that case.

In a separate case, Shawanna and Lee Hughes, along with veterinary assistant Reginald Smith, were arraigned in February 2014 on animal cruelty charges stemming from an investigation by the New York State Attorney General’s Office for the improper amputation of the leg and ears of a pit bull puppy. The puppy in that case, “Miss Harper,” was put up for adoption after receiving care by veterinarians.
Pat Di Pietro May 08, 2014 at 09:29 PM
I hope they rot in hell. They deserve nothing more
Dana Thompson May 08, 2014 at 10:01 PM
pieces of ****! 200.00 fine? you pay more fines for traffic tickets. It's disgusting. Punishment for animal cruelty/neglect should be more severe.
Chris Boyle May 08, 2014 at 11:08 PM
I agree, Dana. WAY more severe!
CAPICU May 09, 2014 at 08:09 AM
Shawanna and Lee Hughes , are "the infamous couple from Oyster bay"......For mistreating Snowball and Miss Harper,it's now time for them to pay......And with possession and sale of crack cocaine ,I hope for them a lot of pain.
susan May 09, 2014 at 09:35 AM
She cannot own an animal for 5 years??? She should NEVER be allowed to own an animal again...and you are right I just paid a $300 speeding charge in Oyster Bay so $200 is a JOKE!! These sick people mutilated and tortured helpless animals. We really need to make animal cruelty laws more stringent.

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