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Case of dogs set on fire in Brooklyn raises concerns about animal cruelty

Brooklyn State Supreme Court Justice Michael Gary

Brooklyn Daily Eagle

Authorities say they are looking for the suspects who set three puppies and a dog on fire.

The charred remains were found inside a bag on 91st Street near Ditmas Avenue, near a beverage distribution warehouse in Canarsie. A surveillance video shows a van arriving there after midnight Saturday. Several men are seen getting out carrying a large black garbage bag, setting it on fire near a trash bin and then driving off.

It's not clear if the animals were alive or dead when they were set on fire.

Acts of animal cruelty are a felony crime in New York that holds a maximum prison sentence of two years. Prosecutions of these cases are not unfamiliar to the Brooklyn District Attorney’s Office.

In 2009, the trial of Lordtyshon Garrett began in a Brooklyn courtroom. Garrett was accused of severely beating and injuring his mother-in-law’s cat. The trial played out like that of any assault or murder case -- with the conviction resting on DNA evidence. It was proven at trial that the cat’s DNA was found on an umbrella that Garrett had borrowed a few days before.

Brooklyn Supreme Court Justice Dineen Riviezzo sentenced Garrett to six months in jail, in 2011. Riviezzo found that given “the seriousness of this crime and [Garrett’s] prior criminal history … some jail time is appropriate.”  Garrett was also given five years probation.

Riviezzo is not the only Brooklyn judge shocked at the acts of cruelty against animals. In 2011, acting Supreme Court Justice Michael Gary sentenced Angelo Monderoy to two years imprisonment for setting his superintendent’s cat on fire.

"To torture and kill an animal because you were bored?” Gary asked during sentencing.  Monderoy was found guilty of taking the cat into an abandoned apartment in Crown Heights, dousing him with lighter fluid and setting him on fire.

“There's no way the world should not know what Mr. Monderoy did here," said Gary.  Monderoy was sentenced to four additional years on other charges including burglary and arson.

The Brooklyn District Attorney’s Office reports a total of 18 animal cruelty cases in 2001-2012.  Given its past prosecution of similar cases, it is likely that the DA may bring charges against the individuals involved in dog-burning case when the suspects are apprehended.  

March 6, 2013 - 4:32pm


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