A 36-year-old Long Island woman has pleaded not guilty to a seven-count indictment charging her with aggravated animal cruelty and other crimes in a stomach-churning case that advocates say involved her children playing in the yard with a week-old dead dog last year.
Veleda Bailey, of Wyandanch, was arrested in November. Volunteers from Almost Home Animal Rescue were doing community outreach in the neighborhood and came across an emaciated dog running loose. The animal led them to Bailey's house, where volunteers found a dead dog chained outside along with two other malnourished dogs and three puppies, the group said.
Linda Klampfl, director of Almost Home, said Bailey's children were in the yard playing with the dead dog, which had been decomposing for at least a week, and "they were barbecuing hamburgers while the animals were being removed."
"I have been doing rescue and community outreach for many years and have never seen such disregard for living creatures," Klampfl said.
Prosecutors said Bailey failed to feed her six dogs for at least two weeks.
The surviving animals were removed from the South 27th Street home and treated by veterinarians for severe malnourishment and dehydration. One of the surviving dogs was at court with the animal advocates who uncovered the alleged abuse. Two of the pit bulls are being put up for adoption, along with nine other puppies born shortly after the dogs were rescued.
Bailey's public defender suggested in court Thursday that the single mother of six didn't have money to feed the dogs. He had no comment for reporters as he left court. A judge set Bailey's ball at $25,000 cash or $50,000 bond.