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Man Charged in Dog Fighting, 21 Dogs Seized; Man Released; Sheriff Mad

Delaware County Sheriff Craig DuMond

About the arrest last week of Nasir Azmat, 41, of Franklin, Delaware County, on 41 counts of violating animal fighting and cruelty laws, Delaware County Sheriff Craig DuMond stated: “Looking into the eyes of these innocent victims of such horrific circumstances, it’s very hard not to become furious. To think that this perpetrator walks away without an immediate court arraignment after facing 41 counts of animal cruelty charges is disgusting. The Governor, Legislature and their advocates keep perpetuating the lie that we in law enforcement are fear mongering. This is not fear mongering; this is sticking up for the victims of real cases. Victims who are defenseless and deserve an advocate. If our elected officials are not going to advocate for victims, they should all be removed and replaced as far as I’m concerned.”

On Wednesday, February 5, Delaware County Sheriff’s Deputies, acting on information received from members of the Delaware Valley Humane Society, discovered 20 unlicensed dogs — confined in deplorable conditions without proper food, water or care — at a residence on County Highway 21 in the Town of Franklin. Upon further investigation, Deputies determined that although there was no evidence of active dog fighting observed at that location, the traumatic scars and injuries to the canines, along with equipment and paraphernalia present at that scene, was consistent with the training and conditioning of canines for dog fighting related activities.

On Wednesday, February 12, Delaware County Sheriff’s Deputies arrested and charged Nasir Azmat (formerly of Peekskill) with 41 counts of violating New York State’s animal fighting and animal cruelty laws.

Azmat was charged following an investigation conducted by Sheriff’s Deputies in conjunction with members of the Delaware Valley Humane Society, Susquehanna SPCA, Broome County Humane Society and veterinarians associated with those shelters, with guidance from the Humane Society of the United States.

Azmat was charged with:

  • 20 counts of possessing dogs under circumstances evincing an intent that such animals engage in animal fighting;
  • one count of owning or possessing animal fighting paraphernalia with the intent to engage in or otherwise promote or facilitate animal fighting;
  • 20 counts of overdriving, torturing and injuring animals – failure to provide proper sustenance; all of which are misdemeanor violations of the Agriculture and Markets Law.

Azmat was also ticketed by the Town of Franklin Dog Control Officer and charged with nineteen counts of harboring an unlicensed dog.

Deputies were assisted at the scene and in their investigation by the Town of Franklin Clerk and Dog Control Officers from the towns of Walton, Hamden, Sidney and Franklin, the Village of Sidney Dog Control Officer, and many volunteers from the Delaware Valley Humane Society who assisted in the removal of the dogs from their horrendous living conditions.

Azmat was issued appearance tickets and directed to appear in the Town of Franklin Court at 6:00 p.m. on February 27 to answer the charges.