Andrew Manesis, 66, of Oak Street was charged Friday, May 25, in connection with the illegal disposal of animal remains along the Hutchinson River Parkway.
Westchester County Police charged Manesis with scheme to defraud in the second degree, violation of environmental conservation law and two counts of petit larceny. All of the charges are misdemeanors. He will appear in Harrison Town Court in Harrison, N.Y., June 5.
The investigation began April 5 when the remains of 35 animals -- 26 cats, eight dogs and a lizard -- were found in dense brush along the northbound Hutchinson River Parkway in Harrison, N.Y., near the junction of Westchester Avenue. Necropsies of the remains revealed that the animals had died of natural causes.
Detectives were able to use evidence collected at the scene to identify the owners of two of the animals and link the cases to Animal Clinic and Surgery of Throggs Neck PC, also known as Throggs Neck Animal Hospital, on East Tremont Avenue in the Bronx, N.Y.
"Dr. Manesis was entrusted by his clients to dispose of their pets' remains in a proper and dignified manner," Public Safety Commissioner George N. Longworth said. "Instead, it appears he simply pulled off to the side of a local highway and tossed the animal carcasses into the woods."
The arrest is the result of a joint investigation by the General Investigations Unit of the Westchester County Police and the Humane Law Enforcement Division of the Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals of Westchester.
Detectives are continuing their effort to determine the owners of the other animals found along the highway. Anyone with information can contact detectives at 1-877-220-3560. The county police also accept tips by text and email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
-- Paresh Jha