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Vet Tech Among 3 Arrested, Charged With Cutting Off Ears, Leg Of Pit Bull Puppy On L.I.

HAUPPAUGE, N.Y. (CBSNewYork) - Three people on Long Island have been arrested for abusing a pit bull named Miss Harper.

The New York State Attorney General's office announced the three have been charged with animal cruelty in connection with the case.

As WCBS 880's Sophia Hall reported, two of those arrested, Shawanna and Lee Hughes, owned the now-7-month-old puppy. They already have a case pending against them for allegedly putting bleach on a puppy last March.

3 Arrested, Charged With Abusing Pit Bull Puppy On Long Island

The Nassau County couple is accused of using a friend who is a veterinary technician to cut off the puppy's ears, likely with scissors, officials said.

The complaint against the suspects said they then put rubber bands and socks on Miss Harper's hind legs to prevent her from scratching. That caused the blood to not properly circulate to her legs.

The Hugheses are accused of illegally paying the vet tech hundreds of dollars to amputate one of the pooch's legs, Hall reported.

"She doesn't know anything's wrong with her. She's just a loving, playful puppy," Gary Rogers with the Nassau County SPCA told Hall. "We've had an outpouring of support for her."

Lee Hughes, 39, Shawanna Hughes, 37, and Reginald Smith, 33, surrendered Tuesday morning and were arraigned after a months-long investigation by the AG's office and the SPCA, according to Newsday.

They were charged with various counts of animal cruelty, practicing veterinary medicine without a license and conspiracy.

Miss Harper had a number of infections when she was brought in in September, Rogers said.

The dog has been receiving care at My Pets Vet in Huntington since she was found.

The pit bull puppy will soon be fitted with a prosthetic leg, Hall reported.

So far, thousands of people have filled out applications to adopt Miss Harper. The SPCA has received applications from as far away as Australia, Hall reported.

Donations are being accepted through the Nassau County SPCA's website. Those interested in adopting, please email

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