A Long Island man faces animal cruelty and dogfighting charges after investigators discovered a dead pit bull and another one that was severely emaciated and injured in his backyard, prosecutors said.
Reuben Phillips, 33, of Hempstead was arrested Friday and charged with overdriving, torturing and injuring animals, failing to provide proper sustenance and dogfighting. He faces up to two years in jail if convicted.
Information on his attorney wasn't immediately available.
Nassau County District Attorney Kathleen Rice said that an investigator with her office's animal crimes unit noticed a severely emaciated pit bull in Phillips' backyard while checking out a tip.
The investigator returned to the house the next morning and was let into the backyard, where the official noticed how badly the pit bull, named Rahman, was starved, with ribs, hips and pelvic bones visible through his coat. The investigator also saw raw and untreated wounds on his ears and neck as well as healed scars consistent with wounds suffered in dog fights, Rice said.
The investigator also found a dead pit bull lying on its side in a dirt hole in the backyard. Phillips told the investigator the animal must have died during the night but could offer no other explanation of its condition. Both animals were turned over to the township.
“No animal should suffer the abuse these two dogs have, and my office will continue to stand up and give a voice to the victims of animal crimes," Rice said.
Rice has proposed legislation that would increase the penalties for animal cruelty, neglect and dogfighting. It's currently pending in Albany.
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