Victor Quinteros: Staten Island man charged with animal cruelty for starving and neglecting 24 huskies
Victor Quinteros, 54, was arrested on July 29 after the Staten Island District Attorney’s Office and the New York City Sheriff’s Department discovered the dogs and puppies during a raid at a secluded lot in Tompkinsville. It was revealed that the dogs were living in two trailers in the area. The officials discovered sixteen adults, seven puppies, and one dead puppy from the fenced-in property.
As soon as the officials entered the property, they found five huskies on the loose in an 'unhealthy and unsanitary condition.' When they opened the door to one of the trailers, 10 more huskies came running out, apparently searching for food. The officials said that the two trailers were hot with very little ventilation and smelled rancid from urine and feces, the complaint claims.
The only source of water for the canines was a kiddy pool filled with "dirty, green and foul-smelling water" and their food was "rotting and appeared to have maggots crawling in it," the complaint said.
The dogs “appeared to be malnourished, with matted fur and paws caked with urine and feces.” There was also a dog named Zeus, "chained to a fence" without food or water. His neck was "bleeding and oozing pus" due to the chain used to tie him. Officials discovered a mother hiding under one of the trailers with her puppies. Sadly, one of then had died. When officials raided his property, Quinteros claimed he was running an animal rescue.
However, Quinteros has pleaded not guilty to nineteen charges related to property damage, in addition to the animal cruelty charges, on Wednesday, August 17, according to the Staten Island District Attorney’s office. At the court hearing, Quinteros turned down the prosecutor’s request to surrender the dogs and give officials consent for the puppies to be sprayed, neutered, and microchipped, according to a report by the Staten Island Advance.
On behalf of the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals, the DA's office is seeking a bond from Quinteros for the cost of medical treatment and aftercare of the saved huskies. The canines are under the ASPCA's observation but they are still owned by Quinteros.
"This defendant neglected to provide basic needs for 24 huskies under his care, choosing to heartlessly leave these beautiful creatures in deplorable and unsafe conditions without access to enough food or water," District Attorney Michael McMahon said in a statement.
"We are proud to work alongside the New York City Sheriff’s Office and Richmond County District Attorney’s Office to bring these dogs to safety and provide them with the much-needed medical care and behavioral treatment they deserve," ASPCA lawyer Erin Satterthwaite said.
The judge has set the bail for Quinteros at $20,000 cash and a $75,000 bond, the DA’s office said.