L.B. man charged with animal abuse

Pet owner serves jail time for kicking his dog


A Long Beach man was sentenced to 12 days in Nassau County jail last month after he was charged with abusing his dog.

According to a New York State police report obtained by the Herald, on May 21 around 1:22 p.m., Long Beach police responded to a dispute over animal abuse at 312 W. Penn Street.

That was where a resident said she saw her neighbor, West Penn Street resident Lehman Lee, kicking his dog because the animal ran away from him.

Police interviewed both the neighbor and Lee. Afterward, police, as well as a Long Beach Animal Control officer, checked the condition of the dog — a small, brown cocker spaniel named Milo. According to police, the dog appeared “frightened and injured,” and was taken by the animal control officer for medical evaluation.

Police returned to Lee’s home the following day around 5: 20 p.m., and arrested and transported him to Long Beach Police Headquarters. Lee was charged with torturing or injuring animals and failure to provide sustenance. He was arraigned on May 24, and pleaded not guilty before Long Beach City Court Judge Roy Tepper.

Johnny O., founder of Rescue Ink — a Long Beach-based animal rescue organization best known for its reality series on the National Geographic Channel that runs the Long Beach Animal Shelter — said that Lee’s neighbor has a camera outside of her home, which recorded the incident.

“It picked up the guy kicking the dog,” he said, noting that police viewed the footage and that he was later informed of the situation. “The dog had three broken ribs. He had to sign the dog over to the city, to the shelter. The dog was later re-adopted by a family outside of Long Beach.”

Johnny O., who is also the city’s humane commissioner, added that though Lee’s sentencing was postponed in August, he pleaded guilty before Long Beach City Court Judge Frank Dikranis on Sept. 7. He was sentenced to 12 days in Nassau County Jail, three years’ probation and 200 hours of community service at the Town of Hempstead Animal Shelter.

“Animal abuse will not be tolerated,” Johnny O said. “I can assure you that if you commit animal abuse, you will be prosecuted.”

He said that though there have been some cases of animal abuse reported across Long Beach, and noted that staff has treated flea-infested and malnourished dogs, Rescue Ink continues to provide quality care for those mistreated animals, and remain as aware of such cases as possible.

“We’re on top of what’s going on,” he said. “We work together and try to provide a safe haven for animals. Long Beach is such a great pet community — we want to keep it that way.”