Two Spring Valley men have been indicted for allegedly running a dogfighting ring and neglecting nine pit bull terriers at their New Hempstead home, authorities said.
Ralph Cadet, 41, and Tyrell Francis, 26, of 39 Greenridge Way, were indicted Tuesday on various animal cruelty charges, the Rockland County district attorney's office said.
The dogfighting allegedly occurred from January to April earlier in 2012. The dogs ranged in age from 7 months to three years, authorities said.
Authorities discovered the alleged animal abuse after a drug investigation, the release said. Francis was arrested Sept. 20, and Cadet was arrested Tuesday.
The two men are due to return to court Dec. 4. If found guilty of the most serious charge, prohibited animal fighting, each man faces a maximum sentence of up to four years in prison and a fine of up to $25,000.
The animals, which were placed in the custody of the Hudson Valley Humane Society, showed signs of abuse and malnourishment, and at least one was so badly traumatized that she was in a catatonic state at the time of her rescue, said Annmarie Gaudio, the society's president.
"They're really quite lovely dogs," Gaudio said, adding that the dogs are now healthy and that four of them have been adopted.
Anyone interested in adopting one of the remaining dogs can contact the society 845-354-3124 or via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.