Suffolk County District Attorney Raymond A. Tierney today announced that Carlos Lauro, 76, of Riverhead, pleaded guilty to fatally shooting a German Shepherd with a rifle and was sentenced to one year in jail and a 20-year ban on owning or possessing animals.

“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 District Attorney 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.”

“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, anthrozoologist and Executive Director of Humane Long Island. “Humane Long Island has removed nearly 100 animals, including three cows, 10 freezing piglets, a dozen waterfowl, and dozens of sick and injured chickens, sheep, goats, and a bunny from Carlos Lauro’s slaughterhouse and an adjacent property, but the public can save twice as many animals annually simply by going vegan.”

The investigation was launched on January 10, 2024, 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 Lauro’s property 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 Riverhead Police Department, executed a search warrant against the premises and arrested Lauro.

On January 18, 2024, Lauro pleaded guilty before Riverhead Town Justice, the Honorable 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, was issued a 20-year ban on owning or possessing animals, and all the surviving animals owned by Lauro were surrendered. Lauro was represented by the Legal Aid Society of Suffolk County for both cases.

This case was prosecuted by Assistant District Attorney Brooke Salvatore of BEAST, with investigative assistance from Suffolk County Police Department BEAST Detective Joanna Westrack.