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L.I. Animal Shelter Worker Appears In Court In Dog Dumping

A Maltese-mix authorities say was found in a dumpster in West Islip. (credit: Suffolk County SPCA)

A Maltese-mix authorities say was found in a dumpster in West Islip. (credit: Suffolk County SPCA)

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CENTRAL ISLIP, N.Y. (CBSNewYork/AP) — Bond has been set for $500 for a kennel attendant at a Long Island animal shelter, who was accused of throwing a dog in a commercial dumpster.

The Suffolk County Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals said Michael Papini was arrested Friday. The 30-year-old Town of Islip Animal Shelter employee was also charged with animal abandonment.

He was arraigned on Saturday in Suffolk County Court, and his bond was set at $500, WCBS 880’s Sophia Hall reported.

Authorities said Papini, who worked as a janitor for the animal shelter, was paid $500 by an acquaintance to take her dogs to the shelter because she could no longer care for them.

Prosecutors said Papini let the first dog, a poodle, out into the street. That dog was never found.

He allegedly put the second dog – initially described as a Maltese mix and later as a Lhasa apso, into a box and a plastic bag before dumping the dog into a dumpster at a gas station in West Islip. He then went to a bagel store, prosecutors said.

Authorities said the 1-year-old dog was found wearing a pink collar and leash in a commercial dumpster outside a gas station in West Islip on Monday. They believe the pooch — now nicknamed “Miracle” chewed her way out of the plastic bag.

She was taken to an animal hospital and was in good health as of Saturday.

Papini’s attorney, Mary Beth Abbate, said her client has no criminal record.

“He’s never been arrested before. He’s 30 years old. It seems to be totally out of character,” Abbate said.

Papini has been suspended from his job at the shelter.

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