On June 8, Staten Island, NY, resident Joedennys Malave was arrested and charged with 10 counts of misdemeanor animal cruelty. The 30-year-old is accused of starving his 6-year-old Pit Bull, Beauty, and her nine newborn pups.
The initial investigation began on May 9, when a neighbor reported seeing Malave walking an extremely thin dog outside of his New Brighton home. ASPCA Special Investigator Mark MacDonald responded to the scene, where he discovered 10 severely emaciated dogs living inside a large cage—all were in dire need of medical attention.
The animals were rushed to ASPCA Bergh Memorial Animal Hospital, where three of the nine puppies received immediate intensive intervention. All of the pups required hourly bottle feedings. Veterinarians performed additional tests to determine whether the dogs' condition was due to neglect or illness. The final report concluded that malnourishment was to blame—all muscle and fat had been exhausted.
"Unfortunately, we see far too many Pit Bulls being abused and neglected by their owners," says Stacy Wolf, Vice President and Chief Legal Counsel of the Humane Law Enforcement Department. "Our goal is twofold—holding perpetrators accountable for their cruel and callous acts and, when we can, giving the animal victims a second chance at a better life in a new home."
In tribute to the characters from Disney's Beauty and the Beast, ASPCA hospital staffers named the now-thriving pups Lefou, Rose, Juliet, Fifi, Belle, Lumiere, Philippe, Chip and Mrs. Potts. The pups will undergo further rehabilitation before being placed up for adoption. Malave is scheduled to be arraigned on July 8.
If you know of an animal whose health is being compromised by neglect or abuse, please report it. Visit our Report Cruelty FAQ to learn how to report cruelty in your neighborhood.