A New Hyde Park man was arrested after prosecutors say he allegedly neglected his pet, leaving the dog covered in wounds and thousands of live maggots, and lied to a town shelter claiming the dog was a stray, the Nassau County district attorney’s office announced Thursday.
Don Wang, 47, allegedly brought his 18-month-old Tibetan Mastiff to the Town of North Hempstead Animal Shelter on July 20 claiming it was a stray on paperwork, according to prosecutors.
An investigation later found Wang lied on paperwork and was the owner of the dog, named Hēi Hŭ or ‘Black Tiger,’ prosecutors said.
Shelter staff found Black Tiger to be “filthy, matted, smelling of urine and feces, and crawling with maggots,” according to prosecutors.
A physical examination showed that Black Tiger was 30 to 40 pounds underweight; he was also in severe physical distress, unable to walk or stand, and had a high fever and labored breathing, according to prosecutors.
Black Tiger’s skin was covered with ulcers, and infested with thousands of active maggots.
“Every pet deserves a loving and caring home, but this defendant allegedly neglected this innocent dog to such a degree that he was dangerously underweight and infested with insects,” Nassau County District Attorney Madeline Singas said in a news release. “Despite this horrific abuse, skilled veterinarians nursed him back to health, and he is expected to make a full recovery. I am grateful to the outstanding work of our Animal Crimes team, and committed to holding this defendant accountable for this heartless crime.”
After finding out Wang allegedly lied and was Black Tiger’s owner, officials from the Nassau County Society for the Prevent of Cruelty to Animals and the Nassau County Police Department went to Wang’s home, prosecutors said.
Officials found another three animals, another Tibetan Mastiff and two poodle puppies, living in poor living conditions, prosecutors said.
A spokeswoman for the district attorney said the rescued dogs were all sent to rehab, she believes at the town shelter.
Wang was arraigned Wednesday before Judge Elizabeth Fox-McDonough and released on his own recognizance. He is due back in court Sept. 19.
Wang is charged with first degree offering a false instrument for filing, failure to provide proper sustenance to an animal, and possession and transportation of wildlife.
Assistant District Attorney Stephanie Hernan of the Animal Crimes Unit is handling this case.
Wang is represented by the Legal Aid Society. Efforts to reach the Legal Aid Society were unavailing.