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State police charge Massena man whose dog died after being left in car at state fair

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SYRACUSE — A Massena man was charged by state police after his black Labrador died after being left in his car for more than four hours Monday at the New York State Fair.

Police said Patrick J. O’Neil, 66, of 326 Haberstock Road, left the 2-year-old female dog in the car about 10 a.m. across from the New York State Fairgrounds. When police were called to the vehicle about 2 p.m., they saw a man standing over the dog as it was having a seizure and barely breathing.

Though troopers reportedly attempted to cool the dog with water and ice, it died at the scene. Police said O’Neil left the dog in his car while he attended the fair.

Charged with aggravated cruelty to animals, a misdemeanor, O’Neil was released with an appearance ticket for Geddes Town Court.

O’Neil was charged by state police in May with 22 counts of animal cruelty after the remains of four horses, including a rotting corpse, were found on his property.

A Brasher Falls veterinarian said in May his examination of 26 allegedly neglected horses on a farm on the Haverstock Road revealed signs of poor management and husbandry.

Dr. Joel M. Nezezon was called to the farm as part of an investigation by state police that resulted in 22 misdemeanor charges of animal cruelty being filed against O’Neil.

State police charged O’Neil with keeping the horses in a neglected, unsanitary and unhealthy condition.

“All of the adult horses are in need of foot care and probably deworming. There was one severely lame mature paint mare and one debilitated undersized three-year-old paint stallion,” Dr. Nezezon said in a statement to state police. The young stallion had reportedly been born with a genitalia condition, and since it was not cared for was debilitated by the inability to retract his penis.

He noted he found most of the horses in fair to good body condition and indicated three adult stallions were paddocked separately, but there were several intact males with the main herd, including four newborn foals.

“The horses are somewhat feral and difficult to handle. There is a carcass of a mature horse in the barn that had been there for some time, with evidence of other carcasses throughout the farm,” he told police.

Those animal cruelty charges are still pending in Massena Town Court.

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