Fulton County man sentenced in animal cruelty case

April 26, 2018 01:04 PM

STRATFORD - It's believed to be the harshest penalty ever in New York State for the crime of animal cruelty. The judge threw everything she had at Bentley Valdez in the name of every abused animal.

The case dates back to April 2017 when nearly two-dozen French mastiffs were found on the Valdez property. Thirteen of the dogs were horribly emaciated, nine were already dead and two of the dogs died after they had been rescued.

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A necropsy determined that some of the dogs had not been fed for two months.

After trial, Valdez was found guilty of two felonies and 15 misdemeanors. The felony convictions carry two-year penalties, while the misdemeanors carry one-year apiece. The judge ruled that many of the sentences will be served consecutively.

WEB EXTRA: Judge admonishes Bentley Valdez at sentencing -- not seen on TV


Even though it adds up to eight years, Fulton County District Attorney Chad Brown says state law only allows Brown to serve a maximum of up to two years. Brown says that's unfortunate.

"I don't think the outcry of the community had any greater effect than just the facts of the case. The facts of this case were egregious. It was a house of horrors for these animals. They were in pens or locked in the houses. They didn't have any way to get out. They didn't have any food or water that was sitting there that they can be fed. They didn't have anybody who was feeding it to them. There were dogs that were stuffed in bags after they had died – with the other dogs next door. One of the dogs was in a cage, or in a kennel right inside of a porch that was also locked in with two dogs dead and two other dogs roaming. The dogs were eating from the other dogs that were deceased," explained Brown.

The judge also signed an order that prohibits Valdez from owning an animal for the rest of his life.


WNYT Staff

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