A West Hempstead man who had a "wall of cages" containing scarred pit bulls in a dogfighting case was sentenced Tuesday to 3 years of probation and barred from owning pets for 5 years, the Nassau district attorney's office said.
Hector Hernandez, 27, also will be required to sign up for the county's Animal Crimes Registry, do 35 hours of community service, pay $1,200 in fines and submit to spot checks to ensure he is complying with the no-pet order, prosecutors said.
He had pleaded guilty in August to two misdemeanor counts of animal cruelty and two misdemeanor counts of animal fighting after investigators with the district attorney and Hempstead Town raided his house and found a small shed with eight dogs inside, kept in cages.
There was an overwhelming odor in the shed, along with chickens and a rabbit, authorities said. Investigators also found dogfighting equipment, including chains, a treadmill and dog tether on the property.
Two of the dogs had bleeding bite wounds and were sickly, the outline of bones showing through skin, prosecutors said.
Hernandez's attorney, Charles Peknic of Long Beach, declined to comment on the case, except to say there were "extenuating circumstances" that shaped the judge's sentence.When he was arrested Jan. 16, Hernandez was charged with nine counts of prohibition of animal fighting and two of failure to provide proper sustenance to the dogs. He had faced up to 1 year in jail on each count and $15,000 per dog in fines.