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Riverhead drug suspect charged with animal cruelty; dog euthanized

67 Zion Street in Riverhead

A Riverhead woman who was recently charged as part of a major East End drug bust was arrested again last week on animal cruelty charges.

On July 16, the same day a house on Zion Street was raided by East End Drug Task Force investigators, police noticed a female German shepherd that was unresponsive in the backyard and swarmed by flies, according to Chief Roy Gross of the Suffolk County Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals. The chief added that the “extremely thin” dog had been left outside for “long periods of time” and hadn’t received necessary medical care from its owner, 33-year-old Tiffany Norris.

The dog was taken directly to emergency care, but had to be euthanized at the clinic, Mr. Gross said.

Ms. Norris was charged with animal cruelty, a misdemeanor with a penalty of up to a year in prison and/or a $1,000 fine. She’s also facing three counts of seventh-degree criminal possession of a controlled substance in connection with her recent drug bust arrest.

The Zion Street home where the German shepherd was recovered is also a home investigators believe to be the drug “distribution center,” according to District Attorney Thomas Spota.

Ms. Norris previously made headlines in May 2012 when she was arrested for attempting to hide a quantity of crack cocaine from police by shoving it in her bra.

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Photo: 67 Zion Street in Riverhead. (Credit: Krysten Massa, file)