SICKO ANIMAL HOUSE
By DAN MANGAN New York Post firstname.lastname@example.org
June 2, 2005 — A Long Island man accused of chaining and beating his wife as two leopards crouched nearby had created a zoological horror show at his home, authorities revealed yesterday.
In the house were stuffed endangered animals, an emaciated Doberman and rotting animal carcasses, they said.
“This is probably one of the most bizarre – if not the most bizarre – case I’ve ever seen,” said Chief Roy Gross of the Suffolk County SPCA . “It’s unbelievable.”
Dix Hills resident Anthony Barone likely soon will be charged with a “whole host” of federal and state crimes related to protected animals, Gross said.
Barone, 36, already has been charged with assaulting his estranged wife, and endangering their four kids by allowing them contact with the leopards, which are now under SPCA control.
Suffolk police busted Barone on Sunday for the May 20 assault on Anastasia Barone, 33, and in the process discovered the leopards in a dank, feces-laden room.
Barone, a tattoo artist who allegedly kicked his wife in the face with a steel-toed boot after chaining her to a staircase, is being held in lieu of $500,000 bail.
On Tuesday night, the SPCA returned to the run-down home – valued at $1 million – and found stomach-churning evidence.
Gross said that inside were “all kinds of animal skins and heads” from tigers, rhinoceroses, baboons, jaguars and snow leopards, as well as two stuffed lions posed standing on their hind legs in attack position.
“Possession of a lot of the skins from these exotic cats is absolutely illegal,” Gross said.
In a crate in the garage, an agent found a starving Doberman pinscher, which Gross’ deputy said was “one of the worst cases of animal neglect he’d ever seen.”
There was a dead, decaying dog in the garage “it was skinned,” said Gross, adding that Barone “was allowing it to rot, and he was going to boil the bones and add them to his bone collection.”
Two healthy dogs – both mastiffs – were removed from the home.
In an unplugged freezer investigators found the rotting carcass of a lynx. Gross said Anastasia Barone told authorities the lynx mauled the couple’s 8-year-old son last winter. She also told the SPCA that after the attack, Anthony Barone chained up the lynx, which strangled itself on the chain.
Anthony Barone, who Gross said was in the process of buying two black leopards, describes himself as a “big-cat trainer, animal lover” in his Match.com dating Web site profile.
“Seeking strong willed direct person (no games here) into Big Cats, motorcross (awesome guitar player) music, outdoors, kids, Travel ( Hollywood ) tattoos and real Love,” Barone wrote in his badly spelled profile, which features photos of him with the leopards.
Leopard man chained his wife to wall
A man who kept leopards as pets has been arrested in New York state for allegedly beating and chaining his wife to a wall.
The leopards were allowed to roam the house in Dix Hills and came in contact with the couple’s four young children, aged two, four, seven and eight, Suffolk County police said.
Anthony Barone, 34, was charged with reckless endangerment for allegedly letting the leopards near his family, assault and unlawful imprisonment.