Case Snapshot
Case ID: 18137
Classification: Hoarding
Animal: dog (non pit-bull)
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Monday, Aug 23, 2010

County: Suffolk

Disposition: Alleged

Alleged:
» Lisa Ferrara
» John K. Ferrara

Case Updates: 2 update(s) available

The Middle Island home where investigators allegedly found five emaciated and flea-infested Doberman pinschers in the large blue structure behind the fence. One of the allegedly neglected dogs was pregnant.

A 22-year-old man was charged with animal cruelty this week for allegedly neglecting five Doberman pinschers at his Middle Island home, where investigators also found the remains of a horse, authorities said.

The three male and three female dogs -- one of which was pregnant -- were found emaciated, flea infested and suffering from sores and eye infections when investigators descended on John Ferrera's home at South Swezeytown Road on Monday, said Chief Roy Gross of the Suffolk County Society for the Prevention of Animals.

Another female dog was retrieved Wednesday from the home, he said.

Mr. Ferrera denied the charges to the Sun, stating the dogs were well fed and only two dogs had eye infections.

On Wednesday, the SPCA visited the home again to evaluate his other pets as well, Mr. Ferrera said. "They took a look around and said everything was fine," he said.

But later, Mr. Ferrera said he left the home and when he returned his door was broken down. "They took our birds, cats and rabbits," he said, adding he's in the process of retrieving all of his animals from the town.

Chief Gross would not confirm or comment further because of the "sensitivity of the investigation."

A spokeswoman for Brookhaven Animal Rescue, a private organization in Medford, said Mr. Ferrera's wife, Lisa Ferrera, has operated a dog breeding business, Blue Haze Dobermans, for over 20 years. Mr. Ferrera said the business recently ended.

The dogs, whose ages range from 2 to 12, were taken by Brookhaven animal control officers to the town shelter for evaluation by an SPCA veterinarian. One of the dogs was in such bad condition he had to be taken from the property on a stretcher, SPCA officials said.

Mr. Ferrera will be arraigned Oct. 22 at 1st District Court in Central Islip, Chief Gross said, adding that more charges may follow.

The area where the dogs were kept was full of debris, investigators said, and parts of a dead horse were found in an area of the yard nearby. The horse died last winter, the SPCA said.

"We are going to nurse these dogs back to health and adopt them out to loving families," Supervisor Mark Lesko said in a statement. "The Brookhaven Town Animal Shelter is a top priority of my administration and is dedicated to helping homeless pets in our town find a home."

Once the dogs are healthy, the town's animal shelter said it will be seeking homes for them. For more information, call 631-286-4940.


Case Updates

A Franklin Square couple bought this dog, Layla, as a puppy three years ago from Blue Haze Dobermans in Middle Island.

A pregnant Doberman pinscher -- rescued last week from a Middle Island couple now facing animal cruelty charges -- gave birth to nine puppies last week, but none of the little ones survived, officials said.

It hasn't been determined what caused the puppies' deaths, said Dori Scofield, director of the Brookhaven Town Animal Shelter, but a veterinarian found that the mother, Jasmine, has Lyme disease and is anemic.

"One by one they died pretty quickly," Ms. Scofield said. "It's very sad. They only lived for a couple of days."

The wife, Lisa Ferrera, 51, was arrested Monday, a week after her husband, John, 22, was also nabbed by Suffolk County Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals officers. Both were charged with animal cruelty for allegedly mistreating six Doberman pinschers in all, said SPCA Chief Roy Gross.

Mr. Ferrera denied the charges to the Sun last week, insisting the dogs were well taken care of.

The three male and three female dogs were found emaciated, flea infested and suffering from sores and eye infections when investigators descended on the Ferreras' home at South Swezeytown Road last week, Mr. Gross said.

A spokeswoman for Brookhaven Animal Rescue, a private organization in Medford, said Ms. Ferrera has operated a dog breeding business, called Blue Haze Dobermans, out of the home for more than 20 years.

Over those two decades, Bo Mrakovcic of Franklin Square has purchased two dogs from Blue Haze -- a male dog in 1988 and a female puppy three years ago whom the family named Layla. The Mrakovcics fell in love with Layla, whom Mr. Mrakovcic described as sweet and shy. But soon after he purchased the dog from Ms. Ferrera, a veterinarian found Layla had bladder control problems and her tail was infected, he said.

"My wife is constantly cleaning up after the dog - it's mentally crushing," Mr. Mrakovcic said. "If Layla's temperament was different, I think we would have given her away."

Mr. Mrakovcic never complained, he said, because he didn't feel it would lead to anything. "It is what it is," he said. "What [Ms. Ferrera] did was wrong, but I can understand how she needed to put food on the table."

Mr. Ferrera told the Sun last week that the dog-breeding business had recently ended.

Mr. Ferrera will be arraigned Oct. 22 at 1st District Court in Central Islip, Chief Gross said, adding that more charges may follow. Ms. Ferrera's arraignment date has not yet been determined.

The dogs, whose ages range from 2 to 12, were taken by Brookhaven animal control officers to the town shelter for evaluation by an SPCA veterinarian. The area where the dogs were kept was full of debris, investigators said, and parts of a dead horse were found in the yard, officials said.

Once the dogs are healthy, the town's animal shelter said it will be seeking homes for the animals. For more information, call 631-286-4940.
Source: timesreview.com - Sep 10, 2010
Update posted on Jun 25, 2011 - 10:16AM 
The wife of a Middle Island man charged last week with six counts of animal cruelty turned herself into authorities Monday on the same charges as her husband, the Suffolk County ASPCA said.

Lisa Ferrara, 51, and her husband, John Ferrara, 22, are both charged with mistreating six Doberman pinschers they owned and kept at their home at 47 South Sweezytown Rd.

Roy Gross, the Suffolk ASPCA chief, said the dogs appeared to have been neglected.

"One of the dogs was in such bad condition, it had to be carried out on a stretcher. Of the dogs, one was pregnant, and unfortunately all [nine] of the puppies died yesterday."

Gross said the dogs were malnourished and had open sores and infections.

The dogs are being cared for by a veterinarian, he said.

"We're going to do whatever we can to get these animals adopted whenever they're healthy enough," Gross said.

Lisa Ferrara was not present when her husband was arrested at their home Aug. 23, but the ASPCA considers her equally responsible for the state of the animals, Gross said.

After she was made aware of this, she surrendered herself to authorities at the Sixth Precinct, Gross said.

Both will be arraigned in First District Court at a later date, Gross said. Neither Ferrara could be reached Monday for comment.

Gross said that upon conviction, each of the misdemeanor charges could be punishable by up to 1-year imprisonment and $1,000 fine.
Source: newsday.com - Aug 30, 2010
Update posted on Jun 25, 2011 - 10:03AM 

References

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