Two Rockland County men have been charged with animal cruelty for staging dog fights as entertainment in their homes, according to Rockland County District Attorney Thomas Zugibe.
When investigators raided a home in New Hempstead, Zugibe said they recovered nine Pit Bull terriers and observed other evidence of dog fighting. Investigators say two Rockland County men saw their training of the dogs and the fights as "just a hobby."
The dogs were taken by the Hudson Valley Humane Society in Pomona for treatment and foster care. Currently, the humane society has five of these rescued dogs available for adoption — Peaches, Butterscotch, Guenther, Chloe and Sweet Mama.
In wake of animal abuse charges against two Rockland County men accused of staging dog fights at their homes, state Sen. David Carlucci (D-Rockland/Orange) renewed his call to strengthen New York State’s laws to further protect endangered animals from being subjected to these violent attacks on Friday.
“Given the recent incidents involving animal exhibition matches, we must act boldly in preventing this heinous acts from occurring in our communities,” said Senator Carlucci. “Animal cruelty cannot be tolerated in any forms. This has become a national phenomenon but make no mistake about it, we will take decisive action at the state level to enable our law enforcement to go after the worst abusers of this practice.”
Carlucci announced his support of legislation (S.6730-A) of animal cruelty offenses that restructures the hierarchy of animal offenses and updates terminology in order to ensure better enforcement and understanding of these laws. By altering the language to re-define terms, re-title offenses, and alter the classification of certain animal crime, this will help rectify the many constitutional challenges facing the current Agriculture and Markets statutes in New York State.
This legislation will classify various levels of criminality, including new specific D felonies and E felonies.
The goal of this legislation is to close loopholes and constitutionality issues of an outdated law, giving members of law enforcement and prosecutors better understanding of what constitutes criminal offenses while strengthening punishments for offenses against animals.
Back in 2011, Carlucci co-sponsored legislation (S.3237) signed into law that increases penalties for spectators at a dog fight exhibition, making it a misdemeanor punishable for a period not to exceed one year, or by a fine of up to $1,000, or both. He also supported legislation (S.6774-A) which was signed into law in 2012 that prohibits people from owning, selling or manufacturing animal fighting paraphernalia used for the intent of animal fighting.
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- Investigators: Dog Fighting a 'Hobby' for 2 Men Charged with Animal Abuse (VIDEO)
- Two Men Accused of Staging Dog Fights for Sport