Delaware County Humane Society officials say the barn at the top of the tall, steep, driveway at 6396 County Highway 21 hid unspeakable horrors.
"The cages were covered in feces, blood, vomit, urine. They were urinating on each other stacked three high. It was the worst I've seen in 15 years of doing rescue. I wish I could get it out of my head. It was horrible," says Shelter Manager, Erin Insinga.
Nasir Azmat, 41, now faces 41 counts of violating New York state's animal fighting and animal cruelty laws. Sheriff Craig DuMond and shelter officials say the dog's wounds and parapharnelia found at the scene leave them with no doubt the dogs were being raised to fight.
"They had open wounds, they were bleeding, some were actively bleeding, some had very old injuries that we could see," said Insinga. The Sheriff would not elaborate on the parapharnelia, citing the ongoing criminal investigation.
The dogs, now affectionately known as, "The Franklin 20", are 18 pit bulls, one German shepherd and one Belgian. They are recovering from their injuries, some more traumatic than others. One lost his tail, which wouldn't stop bleeding. A tube had to be inserted to drain a leg wound too wide to close. Insinga says the dogs are doing great around people, and should be ready for fostering in a few weeks, then adoption. Sheriff DuMond isn't confident Azmat will show up for court on February 27th.
"You're talking 40 different counts of charges. He's not originally from the area. What's it gonna take for this guy just to get in a car and jump?" asked the Sheriff. "This is a consequence of this ill-conceived legislation."
15:38 "this is a consequence of this ill-conceived legislation"
The Sheriff and Insinga are gratefu to the person who was concerned by what they saw, and shared those concerns with authorities.
"The voices of the Franklin 20 and all abused animals will not go unheard," said Insinga. "If you see something, say something."