A West Hempstead man was arrested Thursday on dogfighting charges involving eight pit bull dogs "housed in cages" with "bite wounds" and "scarring from previous wounds", the Nassau County District Attorney's office said.
On Thursday, investigators arrived at Hernandez's residence on Pinebrook Avenue in West Hempstead discovered eight pit-bull dogs caged and housed in a multi-room shed on the property, along with multiple chickens and one rabbit, according to the DA's office. Investigators also said they also found dog fighting paraphernalia on the premises.
Hector Hernandez, 26, was arrested Thursday by DA Investigators and arraigned Friday on violating nine counts of Section 351 of New York’s Agriculture and Markets Law, which pertains to animal fighting, and of violating two counts of Section 353 of New York’s Agriculture and Markets Law, which pertains to failure to provide proper sustenance, the DA's office said.
Hernandez was also found at the residence in possession of heavy restraint chains, a treadmill that had been modified with a wooden frame and dog tether, and the eight dogs, some of which had scars on their faces, necks and ears consistent with bite wounds, the DA's office said.
Two of the dogs had fresh bite marks on their front sides and were found to be "sickly, underweight with bones visible, with overgrown nails and open wounds", the DA's office said. The other six dogs were found in "poor living conditions."
If convicted as charged, Hernandez could face up to one year in prison, plus $15,000 per dog in fines, according to the DA's office. Judge Joy Watson of Nassau District Court set bail at $2,500 and Hernandez’s next court date is Jan. 2, the DA's office said.
Members of the public can report animal crime directly to DA Rice’s Animal Crimes Unit by walking in to the DA’s Criminal Complaint Unit at 272 Old Country Road, by calling the DA’s 24 hour Animal Crimes Tipline at (516) 571-2245, via Internet complaint form at www.nassauda.org, or via email to AnimalCrimesUnit@nassauda.org.