More than two dozen dogs were rescued on April 7 from a hellish prison within a Bedford-Stuyvesant building, where the pups were kept in small cages, forced to stand and sleep in their own feces and urine, and denied proper sustenance.
The American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA) and the NYPD’s 79th Precinct removed the 27 captive canines from the Kent Avenue flophouse on Thursday, finding them trapped in crates in the backyard and poorly-lit, poorly-ventilated basement smelling of ammonia, and covered in their own waste. One dog died owing to its severe neglect.
Cops arrested Jason Nunez, 27, and charged him with one count of aggravated animal cruelty, 28 counts of neglect of impounded animals, and 28 counts of failing to provide sustenance to animals; he was released on a desk appearance ticket without bail, a police spokesperson said. The Daily News reports that Nunez was arrested again shortly afterwards on Thursday after threatening to pepper spray a female work colleague.
It remains unclear exactly why all the dogs were in Nunez’s “care;” the incident remains under investigation, and the Brooklyn District Attorney’s office is prosecuting the case.
“We have no tolerance for animal neglect in Brooklyn and I’m grateful to our partners at the ASPCA and the NYPD for their hard work rescuing these dog victims from the allegedly squalid conditions where they suffered in cramped cages without food or clean water,” said Brooklyn DA Eric Gonzalez in a statement. “Animals cannot speak for themselves and our Animal Crimes Unit is committed to seeking justice for the innocent dogs who suffered because of the alleged neglectful and inhumane conduct of this defendant.”
The ASPCA took the pups into their care and are currently providing veterinary and behavioral treatment as they recover from their traumatic ordeal.
Many of the pooches were suffering from severe malnourishment and dehydration, the ASPCA says. They were also suffering from a variety of untreated ailments including open wounds and ear infections. Some of their coats were stained with feces and urine.
“Upon arriving at the property, it was clear these animals needed to be immediately removed from the filthy environment where they were living so they could receive much-needed medical treatment and care,” said David Little of the ASPCA. “The ASPCA is grateful to be in a position where we could quickly mobilize when we learned our partners at the NYPD needed our assistance with their immediate rescue, and we thank the NYPD and Brooklyn District Attorney’s Office for prioritizing animal welfare in New York City.”
The dogs will remain under the ASPCA’s care until further notice, receiving medical care, sanitary living conditions, and love and support as they recover from their captivity, hopefully to one day find a loving home.