STATEN ISLAND, N.Y. — Officials from the New York City Office of the Sheriff and the ASPCA raided a lot in Tompkinsville on Friday to rescue more than two dozen dogs that were being held in a fenced-in area as part of an investigation into alleged animal cruelty.
With sirens blaring and a search warrant in hand, a Sheriff’s office deputy used a bolt cutter to cut open a lock to get behind a gate on the 100 block of Van Duzer Street that held two dozen Husky dogs.
When deputies arrived to the scene, they found one dead puppy and one severely injured dog that was then taken to an emergency animal hospital, Sheriff’s officials said.
In total, 24 dogs were recovered from the lot, 16 adults and eight puppies, including the one deceased, authorities said.
The lot, which took up the block, was concealed by a tarped barbed-wire fence.
In a statement, Chief Derek Skuzenski of the Brooklyn and Staten Island Sheriff’s Office, explained how they found out about the dogs.
“We received a complaint yesterday of 20-30 Huskies in this area that were malnourished and abused and neglected, so we came in and we investigated it and brought our findings to the Richmond County District Attorney’s Office. The Richmond County District Attorney’s Office assisted us in petitioning Criminal Court for a search warrant under agricultural law and we got that search warrant printed. So, we are conducting that search right now and part of the order is for ASPCA to come with us… to take custody of all the dogs so that way they get the proper care and medical treatment that they need,” Skuzenski said.
Upon entering the gated lot, there was a husky tied to the fence. The dogs perked up upon seeing the officers.
Husky dogs removed by NYC Sheriff’s deputies and the ASPCA on Staten Island in animal-cruelty investigation
True to the nature of man’s best friend, the deputies who were there to rescue the animals were warmly greeted by dogs hopping up for a pet and rolling over for a tummy rub.
Although, temperatures reached above 85 degrees Friday, a majority of the dogs were trapped inside trailers that were covered by feces and urine on the inside. Underneath the trailers, a mother dog concealed her pups in the only shadowy area available. Sadly, one of her pups still succumbed.
In a statement, Sheriff Anthony Miranda said: “Cruelty to animals in this case is a very serious issue. The Sheriff’s Department was glad to be able to partner with the Office of the District Attorney to be able to take some corrective action to save the animals and to be able to hold the individual accountable for the abuses that have been going on there for quite sometime.”
A man was taken into custody at the scene by the New York City Office of the Sheriff. It was not immediately clear if charges would be filed.
When contacted about the situation, the Richmond County District Attorney’s Office said no comment could be made at this time.
The dogs could be seen drinking from buckets filled with maggots and a kiddie pool filled with murky green water.
The ASPCA said in a statement: “At the urgent request of the New York City Sheriff’s Office and Richmond County District Attorney’s Office, the ASPCA assisted with the removal of nearly 25 dogs and puppies including one deceased puppy from a property on Staten Island in connection with an ongoing animal-cruelty investigation. The dogs were discovered living in filthy conditions that lacked proper ventilation and smelled strongly of feces and urine. Some dogs were exhibiting signs of skin injuries, and all of the dogs had no access to fresh water. The animals were transferred to the ASPCA’s care, where they will receive veterinary forensic exams, medical care, and behavioral treatment and enrichment.”
It took over three and a half hours to safely remove all of the dogs from the premises.
Forensic veterinarians examined the scene and the dogs.