East Northport Couple Charged with Animal Cruelty

SPCA alleges neglect led to Greyhound's severe emaciation; family members deny charges.

An East Northport couple allowed their 10-year-old Greyhound to become severely emaciated, according to charges filed by the Suffolk County SPCA earlier this month.

Kathleen and Stephen Jackman were charged with misdemeanor animal cruelty for failure to provide proper sustenance and presented with a field appearance ticket at their home, after what SPCA Chief of Department Roy Gross said was an extensive investigation.

"Charlie" the Greyhound was found roaming the streets during a thunderstorm, according to the Long Island Press, and taken to an emergency veterinary clinic in Commack by an unnamed individual. He weighed 55 lbs. at the time and was treated for severe emaciation.

Gross said Charlie is now at a rescue center and putting on weight.

Stephen and Kathleen Jackman were away when Patch visited their home on Friday, though family members at the home said that the charges are unfounded and the dog was well cared for.

The Jackmans are due back in court in June. If found guilty, they face up to one year in prison or a $1000 fine and will be put on the Suffolk County Animal Abuser Registry for 10 years.

Stay tuned to Patch for updates on this story.

Nicole Boccia April 30, 2012 at 02:39 AM
Morty, or whoever you are, you obviously know so many facts and details. It would almost be funny what you just said if it weren't for the fact that you or the SPCA or whoever weren't trying to send one of my closest friends parents to jail, ruining her, her brothers, and their families lives. Tell me one good reason that a bunch of their family members and friends would comment on this and LIE about a dog being fed and cared for? I and so many others above me have stood in the jackman house and WATCHED them feed and love their dog. This is disgusting. There are dogs out there that really need your help and you're attacking an innocent family. Tomorrow Courtney will be going to school with rumors flying that her parents are animal abusers, very false rumors. This makes me sick to my stomach what the SPCA is doing. After reading all the comments previously posted it amazes me that you could post such a disrespectful comment directly to all the people who have been supporting the Jackman's and who are obviously very close with them, myself included, especially after it has been made very clear the Jackman's are completely innocent people. I encourage you to read the comments again and realize everyone else is trying to help the Jackman's, even people who don't know them. Why are you trying to hurt them?
Carstairs April 30, 2012 at 02:59 AM
LI PRESS: East Northport Couple Accused of Neglecting Dog By Timothy Bolger on April 27th, 2012 An East Northport couple has been accused of neglecting a former race dog that was found emaciated while roaming the streets two weeks ago. Suffolk County SPCA investigators said a Good Samaritan reported finding a 10-year-old Greyhound named Charlie outside in a thunderstorm on April 12. The Good Samaritan took the dog to an emergency veterinary clinic in Commack, where Charlie, who weighed 55 lbs., was treated for severe emaciation. The vet determined Charlie’s emaciated condition followed many weeks of malnutrition, SPCA officials said. The vets contacted a Greyhound rescue organization, which indicated Charlie is an ex-racing dog that had been adopted to Stephen and Kathleen Jackman, according to the SPCA. They were each charged with torturing and injuring animals. They were released on appearance tickets and are due back in court in June.
Carstairs April 30, 2012 at 03:01 AM
NEWSDAY SPCA: E. Northport couple neglected greyhound Originally published: April 27, 2012 4:32 PM An East Northport couple is charged with animal cruelty after their 10-year-old greyhound was found in a thunderstorm, severely emaciated, the Suffolk County SPCA said Friday. In a case that took nine months to build, Stephen and Kathleen Jackman were arraigned earlier this month and are scheduled to next appear at First District Court in Central Islip in June, the SPCA said. Chief Roy Gross of the Suffolk SPCA said Friday the male greyhound, a former racing dog named Charlie, was found last April, roaming streets near its home in a thunderstorm. The dog was found by a Good Samaritan, Gross said, and weighed 55 pounds. Male racing greyhounds normally weight between 65 and 80 pounds, according to several greyhound racing websites. "It was found the same day that it got out of the house," Gross said. "It came in skin and bones, it could hardly stand." Gross said Charlie had to be lifted in a van for transportation to a Commack veterinary clinic, where it was treated for severe emaciation. The clinic then sent Charlie to a greyhound rescue organization, Gross said. The vet who treated the dog said his condition indicated many weeks of malnutrition, Gross said. He said the dog is now about 70 pounds. "It took some time for the dog to put weight back on," Gross said, "and it took time for us to put together the investigation. It was a very thorough investigation."
Carstairs April 30, 2012 at 03:01 AM
Newsday, continued- If the Jackmans are convicted, they would be among the first to be placed on Suffolk County's new animal abuse registry, approved in 2010 as the first in the nation. The registry will be launched May 7. It requires abusers to list their addresses and aliases for 10 years and also supply a photograph.
Verjean Lunenschloss April 30, 2012 at 03:21 AM
Morty, since you seem to have the details of this case, can you please provide the following... What organization was the dog originally adopted from? How long had he lived with the Jackman's prior to his unfortunate escape? What date did he escape, and what date was he found? You claim that two separate animal hospitals treated the dog and advised that cruelty had taken place...do you know the names of those hospitals? When did the SPCA begin their investigation? Are you a member of Grateful Greyhounds? How do you know that the Jackman's were never hung up on? It is stated the SPCA has taken care to conduct an EXTENSIVE investigation, do you have any insight as to what "extensive" means in this case? Were neighbors questioned? Also, do you know when Charlie was released back to Grateful Greyhounds? How long was he treated or evaluated at each animal clinic? You sound as if you have several details of the story that the press doesn't? How is that possible?
Verjean Lunenschloss April 30, 2012 at 03:24 AM
<snip> "In a case that took nine months to build, Stephen and Kathleen Jackman were arraigned earlier this month and are scheduled to next appear at First District Court in Central Islip in June," NINE MONTHS?! So this isn't about Charlie getting loose on April 12, 2012? The SPCA has been investigating the family since July or August of 2011? Why and based on what?
Verjean Lunenschloss April 30, 2012 at 03:27 AM
Is anyone denying that the Jackman's did not do everything in their power to find their dog? It has been stated over and over that flyers were posted and phone calls were made, and several family members spent that night searching everywhere for him. Morty, you make it sound as if they did nothing to find their dog. Is that what you are claiming?
Rich April 30, 2012 at 03:42 AM
I just wanted to point out to everybody that slander is something that is spoken, while libel is something that is written. So when you say that the Patch is spreading slander, you really mean libel. Although you would still be wrong, since at no point does the article directly accuse the family of animal abuse. It is simply reporting what the SPCA is accusing. Also, I find it odd how SPCA Chief Ray Gross says the dog "could barely stand." I find it odd because if the dog was in such bad shape as he says, then how could it possibly have run away during the storm in the first place. It seems to me like that Gross was making a gross exaggeration about the dogs condition. To be clear, I don't think the family abused/starved their dog, but I don't think that their family and friends should be attacking Patch staff for reporting about the allegations. You should be directing your anger at the SPCA and those that brought the charges.
Nicole Boccia April 30, 2012 at 03:44 AM
Charlie ran away about a year ago, I don't remember he exact date but remember Courtney calling me hysterical when it happened and many of our friends telling me the news. The family was out searching and really trying to get Charlie back, that says a lot.
Verjean Lunenschloss April 30, 2012 at 04:06 AM
Rich, perhaps you are correct, but I am SO confused by this article as to actually NOT understand anything in "context". And, media DOES have a responsibility to report in a manner which provides information from all sides of the story, or at least they do if they wish to be considered a "reputable" media source. So Charlie ran away a year ago. And charges are just being filed. This article states that Charlie is NOW (a year later...) at a rescue facility and is putting on weight. A year later. How long was he hospitalized? And again, it took the SPCA a year to investigate and gather enough evidence? For one dog, with one family? Hell, it doesn't take that long for these groups (SPCA, HS, etc...) to gather enough information to take down HUGE animal facilities. A year for ONE dog? Something still doesn't "smell" right. No mention is made of the dog being found a YEAR ago in this article. It alludes to a dog lost recently. But I do agree that there is enough anger to direct at the SPCA AS WELL!!!
Verjean Lunenschloss April 30, 2012 at 04:16 AM
<<<Although you would still be wrong, since at no point does the article directly accuse the family of animal abuse. It is simply reporting what the SPCA is accusing.>>> Well, that would all depend on the skill of the attorney prosecuting the case! <g> The Patch is not directly accusing the family, but if they are involved in propagating libel...it becomes a bit grayer. Media enjoys some protections, but they are not always held harmless. Again, it will/would depend upon the skill of the prosecutor. But a counter suit, at least based upon the weak detail I see here, is more than appropriate. I certainly hope it is considered. Certainly against the SPCA, and then how far-reaching the fall-out is, is left to be seen. And newspapers can certainly be guilty of libel. Directly, or by association. So far, I don't see that they've printed anything "untrue". Lack of balanced reporting, yes. And there is certainly a decided "slant" to this story. But, there is enough information here that can be quite damaging to the reputation of this family, should these charges be unfounded. And, if in fact, they are found to be so, lawsuits SHOULD commence. No matter what happens now, this family's name is tainted forever. That can never be undone. And if it was done unfairly...those responsible should be punished.
Silence Dogood April 30, 2012 at 02:51 PM
THIS IS OUTRAGEOUS !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I know these people and this dog. These charges are total nonsense. There is no way this dog was abused/neglected. It just did not happen. These dogs are high strung and almost all of them appear very thin. The dog could have been underweight for a hundred different health related reasons, either chronic or acute. These good people adopted the dog and provided an excellent home. If the people at the SC-SPCA can commmit such a blunder, and fail to catch it before they issue a summons, then it is clearly negligence. I think SC-SPCA needs to be investigated immediately and offending officials should be removed before any more taxpayer money is wasted. Criminal negligence charges may also apply here. THIS IS OUTRAGEOUS !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
joann cowcer April 30, 2012 at 10:58 PM
Re:Morty Charlie was lost and supposedly found far from his home. I say supposedly because the family has been given very little information. They werent even allowed to see him or know where he has been. (By the way, how does Morty know if the Jackmans were hung up on when they called.?). They looked for him long after he was found because nobody contacted them and told them he was safe. If he was brought to the local shelter, the family would have been reunited with him. If they had contacted the shelter they would have known the family was looking for him. As far as "morty" saying they didnt follow protocol, give me a break. They searched for their lost dog, the pet they owned and loved and cared for for 7 years. Charlie was spooked by thunder and ran, lost and scared for hours at the minimum.
joann cowcer April 30, 2012 at 10:58 PM
Is it surprising that he would be weak and dehydrated and need to be carried into a vehicle .He needed to be carried into the car for standard vet visits because he was scared. He was a nervous dog on a good day, so I can only imagine how he was then. As "silence dogood" said he could have been underweight for a variety of reasons. As "Verjean Lunenschloss" said a rescue dog was rescued nearly starving to death and nobody was charged with any crime. Statements and photos taken out of context have a whole other implied meaning. This investigation and Charlies weight gain has taken a year. Again as Verjean stated, a year is a long time to invest in one dog and one family when there has got to be other animals truly being abused. I feel as though this has become a witch hunt.
Ashley McNulty May 01, 2012 at 01:42 AM
I was there the day that my uncle and courtney picked up charlie. Ever since the day they rescued him they loved him and took very good care of him. charlie was taking to the vet many times because they saw that charlie wasnt eating well. they were always concerned for charlie and his well being. he wasnt just the family pet he was another member of the family. he was a very nervous dog so of course he ran off in a bad thunder storm. the whole family was devistated when they couldnt find him. It is horrible that some one would actually publish this with out having all their facts!!
Heather S May 01, 2012 at 01:50 AM
This story is one sided, unbiased, and hurtful to a family I have known for years. Ive met Charlie countless times, he was one of the best behaved and loving dogs I know. He would always lay in Courtney's room on his huge bed that she bought him and I would always walk in to great him. This poor family is being questioned with animal abuse when the truth of the matter is they loved and cared for him so much. This is completely bogus and I think that the PATCH should get there side of the story instead of making up there own. Just like Courtney said she was interviewed along with her grandmother..where is what they said throughout this whole scenario? This is unfair and cruel. My heart goes out for you Stephen, Kathy, Courtney, and Stephen.
Leah Bush (Editor) May 01, 2012 at 03:19 AM
We have published comment from the Jackmans. You can read the story here: http://northport.patch.com/articles/animal-cruelty-charges-a-witch-hunt-says-accused
Verjean Lunenschloss May 01, 2012 at 04:01 AM
I'm still very confused. Charlie was adopted from a rescue organization. He would have been microchipped. I can't imagine ANY responsible rescue NOT microchipping one of their dogs. If he was an ex-racer, he would have had permanent ID as well. So if he got lost, knowing where he lived should NOT have been an issue. Any shelter, any vet, could have scanned the chip, and known where he lived, and how to contact the owners. Why were the Jackmans simply not called when Charlie was picked up? This is the reason we are told we should microchip our dogs. And it would be good to know if Charlie was wearing a collar with ID. For the same reason... I'm still very confused why the Jackman's were not contacted when Charlie was found. How did he make it back to Grateful Greyhounds?
Verjean Lunenschloss May 01, 2012 at 04:06 AM
Oh...and by the way, I wanted to ask Morty what the proper protocol for a lost dog is. And when we have the proper protocol defined, then let's look at what the Jackmans did, and whether they deviated in part or at all, from said protocol. And the organizations accepting loose and roaming animals, also have an obligation to attempt to find the owners, upon impound of said animal. Was that done in a timely fashion?
Vicky May 01, 2012 at 10:22 PM
Yes Leah, this is a criminal matter by YOU!!!. You interviewed a 16 year old girl without her parent's permission, pretended you wanted to get her side of the story and then turned the story the other way. The criminal matter is that nobody is believing the Jackman's. No one investigated the neighbors. I have been a neighbor of the Jackman's for 20 years. They were always walking and taking care of Charlie.They are always exercising and are very active. They understand the importance of taking care of themselves and their pets. It's unbelievable that someone can find your dog and make up these accusations. The dog had health issues and I'm sure their vet would attest to this. The SCPA has kept their dog for a year with no witnesses of any abuse. It's amazing how people can make things up and get away with it. They rescued this dog for a reason and it wasn't so that they can abuse it. This has been a terrible ordeal for their family and has made a very stressful worse. I hope they sue your ass and the SCPA for slander and deformation of character. Give these lovely people their dog back!! Vicky
Ken Wiebke May 02, 2012 at 05:53 PM
i SUSPECT the Suffolk County SPCA is being run by zealots; PETA types perhaps.
Adam K May 02, 2012 at 11:11 PM
Many of you seem to be upset with The Patch, but I am more perturbed by the actions and statements made by the SPCA. I have to say that this situation sounds similar in many respects to the treatment of the founder of the New York Horse Rescue and her family. The SPCA, while doing good in many cases, seems to have a tendency to over step their bounds and ruin innocent lives. They really need to be kept in check.
Joseph Cahalan May 04, 2012 at 05:37 PM
I have witnessed the loving care and treatment that Charlie always received at the Jackmans. I am Kathy's brother and have been to their home many times and there was always food and water for Charlie. My sister Pat also has Greyhounds and I have observed that Greyhounds are very thin and nervous animals. I have taken care of her dogs for several days at at a time and some days they just woudn't eat because they were nervous. There are so many things wrong with this overzealous persecution of the Jackmans. I think the SPCA should be investigated for this abuse of power. Everyone make sure you also post comments to the SPCA at the above mentioned link.!!!!!!
Lo Keyed Guy May 05, 2012 at 03:56 AM
"Neglect" or failure to properly care for the dog's needs is "a form of abuse. Proper care includes regular, "quality" vet care. "CHarlie was found wandering on the road on a cold, wet night barely able to hold himself up, totally emaciated and severely dehydrated. His teeth were beyond bad, he had a tunnel through his gum line that had hair and gunk in it causing pain and infection. The teeth had obviously been neglected for years." Does that sound like "love & care" to you???
Lo Keyed Guy May 05, 2012 at 04:04 AM
"Neglect" or failure to properly care for the dog's needs is "a form of abuse. Proper care includes regular, "quality" vet care. "CHarlie was found wandering on the road on a cold, wet night barely able to hold himself up, totally emaciated and severely dehydrated. His teeth were beyond bad, he had a tunnel through his gum line that had hair and gunk in it causing pain and infection. The teeth had obviously been neglected for years." Does that sound like "love & care" to you???
Lo Keyed Guy May 05, 2012 at 04:14 AM
MicroChipping is NOT standard rprocdure in all rescue organizations. The choice to microchip is up to the adoptive family. All racing greyhounds are given ear tattoos, amd are trackable through a registry. The Jackman;s might have been called when the dog was found if their contact info was on a tag on a collar. You would have to ask the vet..
Lo Keyed Guy May 05, 2012 at 04:18 AM
It would not be uncommon for any animal to not eat for a day or two, when seperated from their everyday family & being cared for by others. Charlie was found the same day he was lost, so how much weight could he lose in 1 day from a thunderstorm? "Neglect" or failure to properly care for the dog's needs is "a form" of abuse. Proper care includes regular, "quality" vet care. "Charlie was found wandering on the road on a cold, wet night barely able to hold himself up, totally emaciated and severely dehydrated. His teeth were beyond bad, he had a tunnel through his gum line that had hair and gunk in it causing pain and infection. The teeth had obviously been neglected for years." Does that sound like "love & care" to you???
Jack McHaig May 05, 2012 at 05:28 PM
I believe the people here on this board like Amber. It's because we live in a socialist fascistic police state. Anything that is wrong in society, animal abuse, child abuse, etc. A law is passed, AND an agency with it's own police force is created, at taxpayer expense of course. The whole "innocent until proven guilty" way has been all but eliminated. It reminds me of CPS (child protective serv) horror stories, where simply based on a claim, or some mean clip haired butch girls dislike of the defendants ideals, religion, a bumper sticker, etc Innocent people are charged, then hauled into court to answer to the charges. The question of whether you did anything wrong or non existent. It has already been decided that you were wrong. Keep electing these liberal socialist ivy leaguers, who have no real world experience. Only the tenants of socialist philosophy they've been spoon fed through our union run public schools, right up to the useless colleges you all feel every child should go to, where the final indoctrination happens. Part of the way "they" think, is that "risk is unacceptable". It's why a traffic light goes up at the slowest intersection, that had stop signs for 60 years. One fatal accident, and some lowya from Columbia most likely, sues the county, and to "fix" the problem, so no more accidents will happen, you now have another red light to sit at, no cars cross the intersection, and your $4 gal gas burns away. As your taxes go up. Google Fabian Socialism.
Goin' Commando May 06, 2012 at 05:53 PM
Mr.McHaig, I no more believe that 99.9% of elected officials are "socialist" (regardless of whether they attend an Ivy League college, like George HW Bush, or Bill Clinton, or George W Bush, or Barak Obama) than I would believe that many posters on this site are fascists. Name-calling is not only petty and childish, it is counter-productive.
Dad of Three May 06, 2012 at 06:02 PM
A very interesting analysis, although I'm not sure how the poster obtained that information. If it is accurate, or even mostly accurate, then it sounds as if some of the family-defenders and some of the SPCA-attackers, may have to apologize to the SPCA. For my part, I'm willing to what for the facts to come out of a juridical process, and that should be true for most rational people. I'm not going to pre-judge. If the juridical process fully exonerates the family, then that would be the time to aggressively investigate the SPCA. Anything else is illogical emotional reaction rather than the use of our intellect.


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