Pleaded Guilty Exactly One Week After His Arrest
A Riverhead man has been sentenced to one year in jail after pleading guilty for fatally shooting a dog in the head. The plea comes exactly one week after his arrest.
On January 10, 2024, law enforcement authorities launched an investigation when a one-year-old German Shepherd was taken to the VCA Veterinary Hospital in Westbury and found to be paralyzed from a gunshot wound to the head. According to a witness, the dog, named “Blitzkrieg,” was allegedly found shot at about 5:30 p.m., laying in a pen on property of Carlos Lauro, 76, next to a dead goat. When detectives with the SCDA’s Biological, Environmental, and Animal Safety Team (BEAST) arrived at Lauro’s home, they learned that approximately one month prior, Lauro had shot and killed another German Shepherd, a six-month old puppy named “Cranky.” Lauro shot Cranky in the back, and when another resident of the house took the dog back inside the home in an attempt to console and treat his wounds, Lauro dragged the dog back outside and shot Cranky in the head, killing her.
At Lauro’s home, BEAST detectives found five surviving Belgian Malinois/Dutch Shepherd mix dogs, a Border Collie dog, two German Shepherd dogs, and numerous other animals including a multitude of goats, pigs, cows, chickens, and geese. Multiple other deceased farm animals, including a baby goat and pig, were observed at the scene.
On January 11, 2024, BEAST detectives with the assistance from the the Riverhead Police Department, executed a search warrant against the premises and arrested Lauro.
On January 18, 2024, Lauro pleaded guilty before Riverhead Town Judge Lori M. Hulse to the unjustified killing of an animal, a Class A misdemeanor. Lauro also pleaded guilty to aggravated unlicensed operation of a motor vehicle in the third degree, an unclassified misdemeanor, stemming from an unrelated case. As conditions of his plea, Lauro was sentenced to one year in jail, and was issued a 20-year ban on owning or possessing animals. All the surviving animals owned by Lauro were surrendered.
“Our Biological, Environmental, and Animal Safety Team, the Suffolk County Police Department, and the Riverhead Police Department put together a solid case, and the defendant’s only recourse was to plead guilty,” said Suffolk County District Attorney Ray Tierney. “This kind of cruelty will not be tolerated by my office, nor the people of Suffolk County, and the swift sentence of one year in jail demonstrates that. Let this serve as a warning to anyone seeking to injure animals.”
Members of Humane Long Island removed approximately 100 animals, including three cows, 10 piglets, 12 waterfowl, and dozens of chickens, sheep, goats and a bunny. The animals were found in a slaughterhouse operated by Lauro and on an adjacent property. “Thanks to the swift action of the Suffolk County District Attorney’s Office and its Biological, Environmental, and Animal Safety Team, animal abuser Carlos Lauro will spend the rest of 2024 in jail and won’t be allowed to own another companion animal until he is nearly 100 years old,” said John Di Leonardo, an anthrozoologist and executive director of Humane Long Island.