MINEOLA - Several people are outraged over the sentence given to a man who mutilated a pit bull puppy named Miss Harper.
Reginald Smith, who pleaded guilty to removing the dog's ears and one of her back legs, could have served two years in jail. Instead, he was sentenced to a three-year conditional release and fines.
Miss Harper had her ear removed with anesthesia. Following complications, half of her leg was cut off as well. After the incident, Miss Harper was taken to a veterinarian in Huntington, where she recovered from her injuries for over a year.
Members of the Nassau County SPCA, who worked to bring those responsible to justice, were outraged by the decision, saying the judge has sent the message that animal cruelty is acceptable.
The case has inspired lawmakers to establish an animal abuse registry in Nassau County. People on the registry are not allowed to adopt or buy animals.
The dog's owners -- Lee Hughes, of Westbury, and Shawanna Hughes, of Oyster Bay -- are also facing animal cruelty charges. Their trial date has not been set.
Miss Harper was adopted by a family in Bellmore and faces more surgeries because of the animal abuse.