March 5, 2014

Hogansburg woman charged with aggravated animal cruelty


HOGANSBURG — A Hogansburg woman left a dog outside so long that ice formed under its chain collar and the restraint became embedded in the animal’s neck, police say.

Shawna A. Bero, 29, was arrested Monday night at the State Police barracks in Malone and was charged with aggravated cruelty to animals, a felony.

The investigation began Jan. 2 when a veterinarian from Lake Placid Animal Hospital called Ray Brook-based State Police to report the possible abuse of a pitbull in the facility’s care, said State Police Troop B Public Information Officer Trooper Jennifer Fleishman.

“It appears as though the dog was outside constantly or continuously” at Bero’s residence and was not monitored, she said.

Ice had formed in its chain collar, limiting the space the between the dog’s neck and the chain, she said.

The dog, named Mary J., belongs to Mackenzie D. Durant, 30, of Waverly who had left her in Bero’s care while he was incarcerated at Franklin County Jail, Fleishman said.

Sometime before Jan. 1, Bero noticed the 4-year-old pitbull’s head was severely swollen and it appeared to be ill, so she contacted one of Durant’s relatives, who took the animal to the vet, Fleishman said.

The chain was surgically removed from the pitbull’s neck, and she was in stable condition when the crime was reported, the trooper said.

Durant was still in jail Tuesday, according to the Franklin County Sheriff’s Department, and it was unknown who was caring for the pitbull.

Bero also had a Siberian husky at her residence, and that dog was seized by police and taken to an animal shelter in Malone, Fleishman said.

There is no evidence that the husky was mistreated, she said.

After her arrest, Bero was released on an appearance ticket returnable to the Waverly Town Court at 7 p.m. Tuesday, March 18.

Email Felicia Krieg:fkrieg@pressrepublican.comTwitter: @FeliciaKrieg