Michael Papini, 30, is charged with animal cruelty. Police say two days before Christmas, he placed the dog in a box with holes that he then placed in a plastic bag, and then tossed it in the dumpster behind a gas station in West Islip. The dog was able to chew its way out.
"It was a total mistake," said Papini.
That dog was one of two dogs police say a woman paid him $500 to take in because she couldn't care for them anymore. The other dog, a tan five-year-old poodle named Bailey, is unaccounted for and officials worry about its safety.
"She paid him a fair amount of money to take the two dogs into the shelter, because that what he told her the shelter charges. She's very upset and she's very disturbed over this," said Paul Llobell with the Suffolk Co., NY, SPCA.
"He has no priors, he's never been arrested before," said attorney Mary-Elizabeth Abbate. "He's 30 years old, never in any kind of trouble whatsoever. It seems to be totally out of character from what little I know."
Town officials say Papini worked as a kennel cleaner at the Islip town animal shelter. He's been suspended without pay.
As for the dog that escaped, she was taken to an animal shelter to be checked out. She's been given a new name -- 'Miracle.'
Though Miracle isn't up for adoption right now, there have reportedly been plenty of people calling the SPCA, inquiring about taking her in.
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