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Two Men Accused of Staging Dog Fights for Sport

Narcotics investigation leads to animal cruelty charges.

Two Rockland County men already under investigation in a drug probe have been charged with animal cruelty for staging dog fights for 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, including a length of rope used to strengthen a dog’s 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.”

Ralph Cadet, 41, of 39 Greenridge Way, New Hempstead, and Tyrell Francis, 26, also of 39 Greenridge Way, were arrested and arraigned on a six-count indictment charging them with:

- Four counts of Prohibited Animal Fighting, class “E” Felonies
- Two counts of Overdriving, Torturing and Injuring Animals; Failure to Provide Sustenance, class “A” Misdemeanors

Zugibe said dog fights took place between January and April inside 39 Greenridge Way. When the home was raided, Zugibe said the dogs were found roaming the house from cages and ranged in age from 7-month-old puppies to 3 years and were in varying stages of health.

At least one of the animals had scars on its front leg and face.

Zugibe said the indictment is the result of an investigation conducted by the Rockland County Drug Task Force, the Rockland County Computer Crimes Task Force, the Hudson Valley Humane Society, the Ramapo Police Department Street Crime Unit and the Rockland County Special Investigations Unit.

Cadet and Francis were previously indicted in an ongoing narcotics investigation, during which the animal abuse was uncovered. Zugibe said at least one dog fight was captured on video.

The animals were removed from the home and placed in the custody and control of the Hudson Valley Humane Society, where they received medical treatment and were evaluated for adoption, if possible.

The most serious offense, Prohibited Animal Fighting, is punishable by a maximum sentence of up to four years in prison and/or a fine of up to $25,000.

Francis was arraigned in Rockland County Court in New City by Judge William K. Nelson and ordered held in the Rockland County Correctional Facility in New City on $25,000 bail. Cadet was also arrigned by Nelson and ordered held in the jail on $10,000 bail.

They are both due to return to court on Dec. 4 at 9:30 a.m.

The case is being prosecuted by Assistant District Attorney Robert Trudell and Executive Assistant District Attorney Gary Lee Heavner. 

Jim Byrne October 17, 2012 at 03:48 PM
Animal abusers involved in a laundry list of other criminal activity. SHOCKER! Lock 'em up.
William Demarest (Editor) October 17, 2012 at 03:52 PM
The D.A.'s office said the Hudson Valley Humane Society, 200 Quaker Road Pomona, NY 10970, 845-354-3124, is seeking donations to help cover the cost of medical care and food for the animals rescued from the dog fighting. They're also seeking foster homes for the dogs, which need care by people experienced in handling aggressive dogs.
Tina Aronson October 17, 2012 at 07:11 PM
Unfortunately this is just the very tip of the iceberg- There is a whole world of fighting rings and dog abuse (dogs intentionally undersocialized and tortured used to protect gang houses and crack dens) in Fairfield County and Westchester County. I know this from Police officials and from working in the Mount Vernon Shelter and seeing the injured animals that come in. It's horrifying!
KerriAnn Hofer October 17, 2012 at 08:34 PM
studies have found a very strong link between animal abuse and domestic abuse -- we need to report and investigate anyone suspected of cruelty to animals. any fines assessed should take into account the lifetime cost of caring for each of these dogs, including costs for rehabilitation. poor babies -- may they finally find loving homes.
JJ October 18, 2012 at 01:53 AM
Bill, Good article but please take the word "sport" out of it. It's animal murder.

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