Veterinarian paid to cremate dead pets 'Dumped 26 cats, eight dogs and one lizard on the side of the road'
A veterinarian from The Bronx, New York, is accused of illegally dumping the carcasses of 35 euthanized house pets along the Hutchinson River Parkway in Westchester County.
Dr Andrew Manesis, aged 66, of New Canaan, Connecticut, was charged on Tuesday with petit larceny, scheme to defraud and violating environmental conservation law - all misdemeanors.
Manesis, who owns Throggs Neck Animal Hospital, was arrested on Friday after being pulled over on Interstate 95 near the Interstate 287 interchange in Port Chester, New York.
The New Canaan Daily Voice has reported that the investigation into the illegal dumping got under way on April 5, when a Department of Transportation worker came across dozens of black trash bags filled with 26 dead cats, eight dogs and one lizard in dense brush along the highway.
Autopsies of the remains, which were in various states of decay, revealed that all the pets had died of natural causes. None of the animals showed signs of abuse, and it appears that the pets had been cared for well while they were alive.
Based on the appearance of the trash bags, some of the animals may have been dumped at the site many months before they were discovered. At least one carcass was believed to have been brought to the woods in early April.
Ernie Lungaro, chief of the Westchester County SPCA, told the Journal News that the fraud may have begun a year ago, when Dr Manesis changed his contract with a pet disposal company.
At the time of the discovery, officials released the photo of a white cat stuffed into a blue Fitzwell shoe box from the online retailer Zappos. The owner of the cat came forward and helped officials link the case back to Manesis and his clinic.
Another owner also contacted the authorities, claiming to have entrusted his pet with Manesis for disposal.
County police detectives, along with officers of the Humane Law Enforcement division of the SPCA, said they are working to identify the remaining pet owners.
Meanwhile, Mr Manesis was released from jail pending a June 5 court appearance.
Source: Daily Mail