Hector Hernandez, 26, was arrested on Jan. 16 on charges of animal abuse after investigators found eight abused dogs and dogfighting equipment at his West Hempstead home.
Nassau County District Attorney Kathleen Rice announced last Friday that Hernandez had caged eight pit bulls in a makeshift structure, allowing most of the dogs to sustain bite wounds or scarring from previous wounds. Investigators from the District Attorney’s office also found dog fighting paraphernalia on the premises.
Acting on a tip from the District Attorney Animal Crimes Tipline, investigators and Town of Hempstead Animal Control officials arrived at Hernandez’s home on 69 Pinebrook Avenue to discover cages, heavy restraint chains, a treadmill that had been modified with a wooden frame and dog tether, and eight dogs, some with scars on their faces, necks and ears. Vitamins, supplements and a training stick were also found near the dogs’ cages.
Two of the dogs, Roja and Nana, exhibited fresh bite marks on their front sides with overgrown nails and open wounds. Both dogs were also found to be sickly and underweight with visible bones. The other six dogs, Little Red, Brownie, Sassy, Scorpio, Honey, and Thor, were found in poor living conditions.
According to District Attorney Rice, Hernandez violated Section 351 and Section 353 of New York’s Agriculture and Markets Law, which respectively pertain to animal fighting and failure to provide proper sustenance for animals.
“There will be serious consequences for those who show the utmost disregard for the animals under their care,” District Attorney Rice said. “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, Hernandez will face up to one year in prison, plus $15,000 per dog in fines. At Hernandez’s Jan. 17 arraignment, Judge Joy Watson set bail at $2,500.
Assistant District Attorney Adrian Murphy is prosecuting the case for District Attorney Rice’s Animal Crimes Unit.