Eight pit bulls—many with bite marks and scars, and some severely underweight—were found in miserable living conditions after the Nassau County District Attorney's office got a tip about a possible animal fighting operation in West Hempstead. When investigators got to Hector Hernandez's home on Thursday, there were two wounded dogs that prosecutor Jed Painter said were in bad shape: "Blood was still there, and not dried blood either. It was all in the face, in the neck, in the ears, in the front paws."
The dogs were kept in a "wall of cages" in a shed—along with chickens and a rabbit—on Hernandez's property. Two dogs, Roja and Nana, had fresh bite marks and were "sickly, underweight with bones visible, with overgrown nails and open wounds," according to the Nassau County DA's office. Six other dogs, Little Red, Brownie, Sassy, Scorpio, Honey, and Thor, were also found in the shed.
Also, investigators found "heavy restraint chains" and "a treadmill that had been modified with a wooden frame and dog tether... Vitamins and supplements and a training stick with a stuffed animal attachment were also found near the dogs’ cages."
Hernandez, 26, was charged with animal fighting and failure to provide proper sustenance to the dog. If convicted, he could face up to one year in prison plus $15,000 per dog. Nassau County DA Kathleen Rice said, "There will be serious consequences for those who show the utmost disregard for the animals under their care. My office will continue to work closely with advocates and local authorities to ensure that animals are protected, and that the people who mistreat, abuse and exploit them are brought to justice."