Police Found Pitbull Puppies Covered in Feces and Urine, Two-Year-Old Sitting Next to Two Loaded Guns
Two men from North Carolina were indicted for animal cruelty and gun possession, among other charges.
Russell Brown, 67, and Jamar Belle, 28, of North Carolina, were indicted for unlawfully confining 19 Pitbull puppies within a vehicle without access to food, water, or clean air, and causing them to become covered in urine and feces. A two-year-old child was also in the vehicle, sitting near two loaded guns.
On September 1, at approximately 7:10 p.m., Suffolk County police officers observed Brown and Belle inside a 2022 Jeep Compass parked in a lot on Merritt Avenue in Wyandanch. Inside the Jeep, police discovered a total of 19 Pitbull puppies confined in two containers. Ten of the puppies were placed in a rusted crate in the trunk of the Jeep, and nine were placed in a plastic bin on the back seat.
The officers inspected the puppies and saw that they were covered in urine and feces, and noted there was a strong odor of excrement emanating from the vehicle. The puppies were approximately five to six weeks old, and their mother was not present to nurse them. The puppies were transported for veterinary treatment and evaluation. All 19 puppies are available for adoption.
Officers also discovered a two-year-old child in the backseat of the vehicle next to the puppies. When they searched inside the vehicle further, police found two loaded firearms in the back seat near where the two-year-old child had been seated. Child Protective Services was contacted to evaluate and place the two-year-old child in protective care.
Brown and Belle were indicted for:
- two counts of second-degree criminal possession of a weapon, both Class C violent felonies
- two counts of criminal possession of a firearm, both Class E felonies
- 19 counts of neglect of an impounded animal, all unclassified misdemeanors
- 10 counts of carrying an animal in a cruel manner, an unclassified misdemeanors
- one count of endangering the welfare of a child, a Class A misdemeanor
- 0ne count of seventh-degree criminal possession of a controlled substance, a Class A misdemeanor
On September 14, 2023, at Brown’s arraignment on the indictment took place on September 14. New York State Supreme Court Judge Timothy P. Mazzei, ordered that Brown be held on $50,000 cash, $100,000 bond, or $500,000 partially secured bond during the pendency of the case. Brown is due back in court on October 12.
On September 25, Belle was arraigned on the indictment. Mazzei ordered that Belle be held on $15,000 cash, $40,000 bond, or $70,000 partially secured bond during the pendency of
the case. Belle is due back in court on October 19.
“The alleged actions of these defendants represent a despicable level of disregard for the well-being of not one, but two of our most vulnerable populations: animals and children,” said Suffolk County District Attorney Ray Tierney. “While the victims in this case cannot advocate for themselves, we will. To those who think they can get away with such abuses, take note. The abuse and neglect of animals and children will not be tolerated in Suffolk County.”