FRANKLIN, N.Y. – A Franklin man accused of animal cruelty and violating animal fighting laws pleaded not guilty to 41 charges after authorities seized 20 dogs from him earlier this month.
Nasir Azmat, 41, pleaded not guilty to:
- 20 counts of possessing dogs under circumstances evincing an intent that such animals engage in animal fighting
- One count of owning or possessing animal fighting paraphernalia with the intent to engage in or otherwise promote or facilitate animal fighting
- 20 counts of overdriving, torturing and injuring animals - failure to provide proper sustenance
According to Delaware County District Attorney John Hubbard, Azmat cannot be held on bail according to new bail reform laws.
Hubbard says he’s unclear what, if any, ties Azmat has to the area, which may make him a flight risk.
However, a judge has ordered Azmat to check in with probation every week until his hearing, which is scheduled for March 26.
After receiving a tip about an animal abuse case, the Delaware County Sheriff’s Office found the dogs at Azmat’s home in the town of Franklin. Deputies said it looked like the animals suffered traumatic injuries.
The animals did not have proper food or water, and equipment was found at the scene that is typically used to train dogs to fight, according to the deputies.
Azmat was arrested on Feb. 12, and the animals were sent to rescue shelters in the area, including the Delaware Valley and Broome County humane societies, as well as the Susquehanna SPCA.