Logan CrawfordAug 24, 2017, 5:24 pmAug 25, 2017, 12:30 pm

PD: Jersey City couple arrested after 2 dogs found dead in locked cage in Port Washington

Nassau officials say 3-year-old pit bulls were left to die in the heat near the North Shore Animal League


Police have arrested a Jersey City couple for allegedly leaving a pair of 3-year-old pit bulls in a locked cage outside of a business near the North Shore Animal League in Port Washington on July 31st.

Officials say the dogs, named King and Becki, were left in direct sunlight for an hour on an 88-degree day, resulting in the dogs' deaths.

"The animals slowly succumbed to heat exposure, seizure in the brain, not a good way to die," said Animal Crimes Unit Chief Jed Painter.

Painter says they were able to find out the dog owner’s license plate through security cameras and then tracked them to Jersey City.

Prosecutors say Steven Rivera and Diana Rodriguez turned themselves in on Thursday morning to authorities.

The couple is charged with two counts of abandonment of animals and overdriving, torturing and injuring animals, along with failure to provide sustenance.

Painter says there are regulations you have to follow if you need to surrender an animal. He says it's against the law to just leave a pet on a shelter's doorstep.

"You need the necessary paperwork to do it, you need the necessary permission to do it. You can no more surrender an animal to your neighbor than you can to a shelter. And I think that's a common misconception," Painter said.

The judge ordered Rivera and Rodriguez be held on $250 bond or $125 cash.

Lawyers for the defendants say they have no prior criminal history.

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