Suffolk County Police last night arrested a father and son for multiple counts of animal cruelty after more than two dozen cats were found in hoarding conditions at their residence in Islip.
Suffolk County Police Third Precinct Crime Section officers responded to 104 Lake St. in Islip following reports of animal cruelty. Officers observed several loose cats outside the residence and noticed a strong ammonia odor coming from inside the residence.
The cats inside the residence were overcrowded, with sparse food and no water.
Investigators seized five cages and two containers containing 26 cats. The cats were brought to the Islip Animal Shelter for evaluation.
Following an investigation, Gary Verga, 72, and Daniel Verga, 39, were arrested on January 17 at approximately 7:20 p.m. They were each charged with ten counts of Failing to Provide Proper Sustenance to an Animal and ten counts of Failing to Provide Proper Food and Drink to an Impounded Animal, under the Agriculture and Markets Law. They were issued Desk Appearance Tickets and are scheduled for arraignment at First District Court in Central Islip on January 19.
Third Precinct Crime Section officers were assisted by the Biological Environmental Animal Safety Team (BEAST), the Islip Town Fire Marshal, Islip Town Building Inspector, Islip Town HAZMAT and the Islip Fire Department.
A criminal charge is an accusation. A defendant is presumed innocent until and unless proven guilty.