HEMPSTEAD - A Roosevelt man was arraigned today on animal neglect charges.

Court documents say authorities visited 41-year-old Shawn Christopher's Roosevelt home, where they found a female pit bull mix and her two puppies with sores on their bodies and swollen paws.

Christopher says the dogs came down with a common skin condition known as mange. He says he was trying to treat them himself because he didn't have money to take them to the vet. He describes himself as an animal lover and says he does not treat his dogs badly.

A vet caring for the dogs says that the rash, caused by mites, is pretty common, but would never have gotten so severe if it was properly taken care of.

Christopher has surrendered the dogs, and they will be up for adoption as soon as they're well. He is facing a year in prison for each count of animal neglect.