Just as all celebrities deaths come in threes, it seems that pet abuse stories do as well: first, a CT man was accused of "inadvertantly" sexually abusing a horse; then a LI man was accused of sexually abusing Snowball the dog. Completing our terrible triptych today, a Staten Island man stands accused of starving and neglecting two pets over the summer while the owner was attending to a death in her family.

Tino Garuccio, 36, agreed to care for Cha Cha, a six-pound female teacup Chihuahua, and Chee Chee, a male rat terrier, when owner Angela Correa was told that her mother, who was diagnosed with kidney failure, had weeks to live. Correa spent the summer at the hospital with her mother, but had trouble contacting school bus driver Garuccio while she was away. When a gas leak happened at Garuccio's house, his landlord discovered the dogs in the basement; both were emaciated (one was down to 3 and 1/2 pounds), and one had three broken ribs and an untreated ulcerated eye that had to be removed. "Oh my God! It was brutal. Cha Cha was tearing blood. When I picked her up, it was like holding a bag of bones," Correa said.

Garuccio was charged with two counts of torturing and injuring an animal, a misdemeanor. He faces up to a year in jail for the pet abuse. "My little one was beyond devastated. Sometimes she asks 'when is Cha Cha's eye going to grow back?'" Correa told NY1.