Two men face animal cruelty, child endangerment and firearm charges after Suffolk County, New York police allegedly discovered 19 pit bull puppies covered in urine and feces, a toddler and two loaded guns in the vehicle they were in.
Suffolk County District Attorney Raymond A. Tierney announced on Monday that 67-year-old Russell Brown and 28-year-old Jamar Belle, both from North Carolina, were indicted for unlawfully confining 19 pit bull puppies in a vehicle without food, water or clean air.
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Suffolk County, New York police arrested two men after they were found to have 19 pit bull puppies in their vehicle, which were covered in urine and feces. Also in the vehicle was a toddler and two loaded handguns. (Suffolk County DAs Office)
"The alleged actions of these defendants represent a despicable level of disregard for the well-being of not one, but two of our most vulnerable populations: animals and children," the DA said. "While the victims in this case cannot advocate for themselves, we will. To those who think they can get away with such abuses, take note. The abuse and neglect of animals and children will not be tolerated in Suffolk County."
During the encounter, the officers discovered there were 19 pit bull puppies split between two containers – 10 were in a rusted crate in the trunk and the other nine were in a plastic bin in the back seat of the SUV.
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Suffolk County Police vehicle. (Fox News)
When the officers inspected the puppies, which were about 5-6 weeks old, they saw they were all covered in urine and feces, and there was a strong odor of excrement coming from inside the vehicle, Tierney’s office said.
The puppies’ mother was also not present to be able to nurse them. All 19 puppies were taken for veterinarian treatment and evaluation before being put up for adoption.
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Inside a courtroom with gavel in view. (iStock)
Police contacted Child Protective Services to evaluate and place the child into protective care.
Both men have been indicted on two counts of second-degree criminal possession of a weapon, two counts of criminal possession of a firearm, 19 counts of neglecting an impounded animal, 10 counts of carrying an animal in a cruel manner, and one count of endangering the welfare of a child.
Brown was also charged with seventh-degree criminal possession of a controlled substance.
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The latter was arraigned on Sept. 14 before Supreme Court Judge Timothy P. Mazzei, who ordered Brown be held on $50,000 cash, $100,000 bond, or $500,000 partially secured bond. He is due back in court on Oct. 12.
Belle was arraigned on Sept. 25 by Judge Mazzei and held on $15,000 cash, $40,000 bond, or $70,000 partially secured bond. Belle is due back in court on Oct. 19.
Greg Wehner is a breaking news reporter for Fox News Digital.