Animal Shelter Worker Michael Papini Arrested for Animal Cruelty, Abandonment for Dumping Dog in Dumpster
A female Dachshund-mix dog found in a dumpster in Suffolk, N.Y., has been named Noelle and is now receiving loving care at the Town of Islip Animal Shelter.
Islip is a town in Suffolk County, located on the south shore of Long Island.
Police have arrested animal shelter employee Michael Papini, of Lindenhurst, for allegedly placing her in a plastic bag and then throwing it into a commercial dumpster on Christmas Eve, according to NBC4 New York.
Papini, 30, is charged with felony aggravated animal cruelty, animal abandonment, and other charges in the case, Suffolk SPCA detectives say.
The 1-year-old dachshund mix was discovered in the trash at a gas station early Tuesday. Officials say it appears she managed to get out of a cardboard carrier and then chewed her way through the plastic bag. She is matted and dirty, but otherwise in good health.
SPCA detectives say the female pup had been given to Papini by the owner to bring to the Town of Islip Animal Shelter because she could no longer take care of her.
The Islip Animal Shelter released a statement Saturday saying Papini's actions were not representative of the shelter.
"This troubling incident in no way reflects the loving and caring treatment for all animals from our many dedicated staff and volunteers," the statement read, in part. "Mr. Papini has been immediately suspended without pay for this alleged act which disturbs all of us at the Town of Islip."
A gas station surveillance video was used to identify Papini as a suspect. It was taken nearly 24 hours before Noelle was found on Christmas Eve. It showed a person, believed to be Papini, carrying a plastic bag that appears to contain a box and placing it in the dumpster.
"The dog was placed in a cardboard animal carrier and put in plastic garbage bags that were tied up," said George Whalley, a detective with the SPCA.
Kevin Zabawski, who discovered the pup, told NBC 4 New York, "I just happened to look to the side and there was a face looking at me. There was this dog in there, and I thought, 'Who the heck would leave an animal like that in the dumpster?'"
The SPCA now believes that Papini may also have dumped another dog — a miniature poodle named Bailey — out of his car last week. The organization is offer a $500 reward for information on Bailey's whereabouts.
Papini is being held on $250 bail, according to the SPCA.
Noelle has been groomed and is receiving love and care at the shelter until the former owner legally gives her up. At that time she will be available for adoption at the Town of Islip shelter.
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