3 dogs found dead in hot SUV in Shirley; owner says it was a ‘mistake’

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A Shirley man is facing animal cruelty charges after three dogs were found dead inside his SUV.

Police say Carmine Dapruzzo, 41, left a total of six dogs in five animal cages in his car for up to 11 hours in sweltering temperatures. Someone called 911 at 5:40 a.m. when they noticed the dogs in the SUV at the Majestic Corners Shopping Center in Shirley.

The Town of Brookhaven Animal Shelter says all six dogs are Rottweilers. They say the three surviving dogs are a puppy and two juveniles. The shelter says the surviving dogs are expected to be OK.

Dapruzzo was arrested as he worked inside his mother's nearby pizzeria.

“It was a mistake. I came back from Pennsylvania yesterday and had nowhere to put them for the moment, and I was leaving for Pennsylvania again today,” Dapruzzo told News 12 exclusively.

When News 12 asked him how he could leave the dogs in the hot car, Dapruzzo said that he “had them out for a while, but I had to put them back in. I can’t leave them loose.”

When asked how long they were left in the car, he replied, “A little while.”

In 2017, Dapruzzo was issued town violations for having eight unlicensed dogs. The Suffolk SPCA also charged him with three counts of failing to provide his dogs with adequate shelter.

“The people who really know me know how I take care of my dogs, and that was just a tragedy for me,” Dapruzzo told News 12.

Dapruzzo was charged with animal cruelty under the New York State Agriculture and Markets Law. He was released from the 7th Precinct on a desk appearance ticket and will be arraigned at a later date.

(Carmine D’Apruzzo, Credit: Suffolk County Police Department)

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