Landlord: Owner ‘basically cooked’ dog left in hot apartment

Police say a landlord on Beverly Road heard the tenant's dog barking and realized she hadn't seen the tenant.

Melissa Buchanan pleaded not guilty to six counts of animal cruelty.

Melissa Buchanan pleaded not guilty to six counts of animal cruelty. (4/29/16)

SOUTH HUNTINGTON - A South Huntington woman was hit with animal abuse charges after allegedly abandoning her pets in a hot apartment for days.

Owner Nick Safar, who lives on the top floor of the Beverly Road property, says he hadn’t seen tenant Melissa Buchanan for days but could hear animal noises inside. He eventually looked through the window and spotted a dead dog.

“She basically cooked the dog,” says Safar.

Safar called the Suffolk County SPCA, who arrived at the apartment with Suffolk police.

Animal control officer Michael Costa says they found the dead dog along with a Chihuahua, a cat, two lizards and an albino boa.

“It appeared they had not received adequate care for some time,” says Costa. “It was not a clean place and certainly unfit for animals, and I would say people too.”

According to a police report, Buchanan showed up while police were there and admitted she had not been home for days. She pleaded not guilty to six counts of animal cruelty. A judge set bail at $2,000 cash or $4,000 bond.

Buchanan’s next court date is scheduled for May 3. She faces up to six years behind bars.

Suffolk SPCA Chief Roy Gross says the cat and dog will remain at the Huntington Animal Shelter. The reptiles will be evaluated and also taken to a shelter.

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