Not guilty plea from man whose dog died after being left in hot car during State Fair

Patrick Oneill

The North Country man accused of leaving his dog in a hot car for several hours while he was at the State Fair pleaded not guilty in Town of Geddes court Monday.

Patrick Oneill, 66, of Massena is charged with a misdemeanor of animal cruelty that has a maximum penalty of a year in jail and a $1,000 fine. Animal abuse is covered under New York State's Ag and Markets laws.

There was some discussion in the courtroom over Oneill not having a lawyer. He will reappear back in court on Novermber 4th.

State police say Oneill left his 2 year old labrador in his car for more than 4 hours while he was at the State Fair. Troopers say the temperature reached nearly 100 degrees inside the car that day. A state fair attendant noticed the dog and called troopers to the scene.

When troopers got there, they noticed a male standing over the dog who was seizing and barely breathing. Troopers tried cooling the dog down with water and ice, but it died at the scene.

Many people are angry about the crime Oneill is accused of committing. Members of the Animal Alliance of Greater Syracuse showed up for Monday's arraignment.

Melissa Robar, one of the members of the group, says they came because they're advocates for animals who are victims of crimes since they can't speak for themselves.

Robar says the Animal Alliance of Greater Syracuse wants to see this crime bumped up to a felony because he is also facing charges of animal cruelty for neglecting horses on his property in Massena back in May.

Investigators say he kept dozens of horses in neglected, unsanitary and unhealthy conditions. He is due back in court in Massena on these charges on October 26th.