STRATFORD, N.Y. (NEWS10) – Police have charged a man they say is responsible for abandoning several dogs, many were starving or dead.
Bentley Valdez is now facing nearly two dozen charges for failure to provide sustenance to 22 French mastiffs in his care.
Senator Jim Tedisco has been a leader in animal activism saying he’s deeply saddened by this case.
“It’s the ultimate most terrible form of abuse, neglecting an animal to death.”
Nine of those dogs were found dead on Valdez’s property in Stratford and a 10th died Friday morning.
Tedisco says cases like this are why there need to be harsher laws concerning people who hurt animals.
“Just slowly letting them die from starvation or lack of hydration or freezing to death being frost bitten. That has to be a felony.”
The Brennan Humane Society in Gloversville is caring for the remaining 12 malnourished dogs, trying to bring them back to health.
But the case reaches further than Stratford, the state of New York, and even the country.
One woman from Russia tells NEWS10 ABC’s Ayla Ferrone over Facebook that Valdez bought a puppy from her in the fall. That dog is among the dead.
She said in a message “Our grief has no boundaries; this grief has unified many people around the world.”
A man in Greece also posting that his dog is among the dead saying “I still don’t know why. I hope to have an answer.”
Another woman from Canada says her puppy Kianna came from Valdez’s operation. She says she’s sickened at what he did to the 22 dogs under his care.
“That’s just unacceptable and anybody who’s got a heart has to say this cannot be,” Tedisco said.
In the Capitol Region, Sen. Tedisco says he’s working on several laws including one that would require more checks on dog breeders and one that would provide more money to small towns like Stratford to fund their animal control units.