NEW CITY — Two New Hempstead men facing felony animal fighting charges are accused of staging a dogfight between pit bull terriers inside their Greenridge Way home.
Ralph Cadet, 41, and Tyrell Francis, 26, both of 39 Greenridge Way, have each been charged with four felony counts of prohibited animal fighting and two misdemeanor counts of overdriving, torturing and injuring animals while failing to provide sustenance, said Rockland County District Attorney Thomas Zugibe.
At least one of the fights is believed to have been captured on video, Zugibe said.
Authorities found nine pit bull terriers ranging in age from 7 months to 3 years inside the Greenridge Way home while the men were subjects in an ongoing drug investigation, Zugibe said.
The animals were said to be in varying stages of health. At least one dog had scars on her front legs and face.
Also found inside the home were other items consistent with a dogfighting operation, such as as lengths of rope used to strengthen dogs’ jaw muscles.
“This type of activity is neither a sport nor a hobby, but a particularly merciless crime,” Zugibe said. “My prosecutors take a strong stand against animal cruelty. We are committed to aggressively enforcing a number of state laws aimed at protecting animals from harm.”
The animals were removed from the home and were in the custody of the Hudson Valley Humane Society on Tuesday. They had received medical treatment and were in the process of being evaluated for possible adoption, Zugibe said.
Cadet was arrested Tuesday and arraigned in Rockland County Court, where bail was set at $10,000. Bail for Francis, who had been arrested and arraigned on Sept. 20, had been set at $25,000. Both men remained in custody Tuesday evening pending a 9:30 a.m. court appearance on Dec. 4.
No telephone number was listed for 39 Greenridge Way. It was not certain if either suspect had obtained legal counsel.
A single count of prohibited animal fighting is punishable by up to four years in state prison and a $25,000 fine.