On Friday, Nassau County District Attorney Kathleen Rice announced the arrest and arraignment of a West Hempstead Man for allegedly running a dogfighting ring from his home, where investigators found eight malnourished pit bulls suffering from bite wounds
Hector Hernandez, 26, was arrested at his 69 Pinebrook Avenue home after the district attorney’s office received a tip through the Animal Crimes Tip Line. Hernandez is charged with violating nine counts of Section 351 of New York’s Agriculture and Markets Law, which concerns animal fighting. He was also found to have violated two counts of Section 353 of New York’s Agriculture and Markets Law, which pertains to failure to provide proper sustenance, as his dogs were found to be sickly and some were severely underweight.
Of the eight pit bulls, most of the dogs living in the makeshift structure in a multi-room shed had bite wounds or scarring from previous wounds. Also in the shed were numerous chickens and a rabbit that were also being kept in deplorable conditions.
To dogs names Roja and Nana were found with fresh bite wounds on their sides. Investigators reported that they were “sickly, underweight with bones visible, with overgrown nails and open wounds.” The other six dogs – Little Red, Brownie, Sassy, Scorpio, Honey, and Thor – were all living in poor living conditions on Hernandez’s property.
DA investigators also found heavy restraint chains on the premises, as well as a treadmill that had been modified with a wooden frame and dog tether. Vitamins and supplements were found near the dogs’ cages, and a “training stick” used for training dogs to fight was found nearby with a stuffed animal attachment.
“There will be serious consequences for those who show the utmost disregard for the animals under their care,” DA Rice said in a press release. “My office will continue to work closely with advocates and local authorities to ensure that animals are protected, and that the people who mistreat, abuse and exploit them are brought to justice.”
If convicted as charged, Hernandez could face up to one year in jail, and will have to pay fines of $15,000 per dog.
The dogs taken from the home were brought to an unnamed shelter, and the chickens and rabbit were brought to Hempstead Town Animal Shelter.
[Source: District Attorney Kathleen Rice]