Lindenhurst man accused of leaving dog outside in freezing temperatures

A Lindenhurst man is facing animal cruelty charges, accused of leaving his dog outside in sub-freezing temperatures.  
The Suffolk SPCA says it responded with police to a house on 44th Street in Lindenhurst. 
Officials say that is where they found a black lab mix in an unheated car with no access to food or water while temperatures ranged from 14 to 18 degrees. The dog was returned to its owner, Byron Perez, 34, after being deemed healthy. 
Perez is now charged with one count of violating the Suffolk County Code and one count of violating the Agriculture and Market Law for leaving his dog outside in the cold. 
“On this particular charge of 353D, which is a Suffolk law, if a person could not be found then the dog would be removed,” says Suffolk SPCA Chief Roy Gross. “The dog is OK and appears to be healthy. We will be following up again to make sure this does not occur again obviously.” 
After being charged under the Agriculture and Market Laws in Suffolk and being a first-time offender, the most Perez could face is a $100 fine.
Some say that is not enough.
“It’s inhumane,” says Nick Fusco, of Massapequa Park. “It shouldn’t have happened. Just like pretend, a baby is in the car. That’s what they are. That’s your kids in the car. You wouldn’t leave your kids unattended in the car. Absolutely not. Throw the book at him.”  
Chief Gross says he believes the laws are working, but that stronger statements need to be made in animal cruelty.
“Unfortunately, a lot of these people do not go to jail, and they should,” Gross says. “So what messages are we sending out there? We want to get a strong message out there that if you perpetuate a crime against an animal like these, you’re gonna go to jail.”
Chief Gross says the Suffolk SPCA has seen a lot of animal abandonment throughout the pandemic. He says if someone doesn’t want their pet anymore, the best thing to do is find a shelter or contact them.
News 12 went to Perez’s home for comment, but no one came to the door 
Police say Perez also had an outstanding arrest warrant.
He is due back in First District Court in Central Islip on Feb. 18.