State Police: 9 dead dogs found at Fulton County property

April 07, 2017 11:31 AM

STRATFORD - State police found a severe case of animal cruelty in the town of Stratford in Fulton County. There were 22 French mastiffs in total. Of those, 13 were emaciated and nine were dead.

Bentley Valdez, who police say owns the dogs, is charged with 22 counts of failure to provide sustenance to his dogs, class A misdemeanors.  Valdez was arraigned in the Town of Stratford Court Thursday evening and remanded to the Fulton County Jail in lieu of $2,500 cash bail or $3,500 bond. 

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A boarded up and broken-down house tucked back in a deep corner of Fulton County is where police say the dogs suffered.  Troopers found some dogs in the trash-filled house. They found others outside, ribs visible, in crates and cages. Some dead dogs were in plastic bags when troopers arrived. The Humane Society bagged the rest and loaded them in their truck to be taken to a vet for a necropsy.

"This is the worst one I’ve seen in my experience, just by the sheer number of dogs that were dead," noted Capt. Mike Tietz, a zone commander.

One dog was still loose, too afraid to go near officers. She will have to be live trapped by Stratford Animal Control.

"I can’t even fathom what caused this to happen, what made this major change," admitted Karen Jaquay, a Stratford Animal Control officer.

A contractor taking pictures of the property for foreclosure proceedings noticed the horrifying situation and called authorities.

State Police say Valdez wasn't living there full time. Animal Control says Valdez lived in his van.

This wasn’t the first problem at this property. Back in August, Animal Control was called in for unlicensed dogs. However, Jaquay says he took care of that licensing issue and the dogs were in good shape when she was there.

"At some point probably between Christmas and now, it’s gotten to this stage," explained Jaquay.

Animal Control says these dogs were brought in from breeders all over the world.

The living dogs are recovering at the Brennan Humane Society in Mayfield.


WNYT Staff

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