FREEPORT - A Freeport man pleaded guilty Monday to animal-fighting charges.

Anthony Reddick will spend up to three years behind bars following his sentencing next month.

He was arrested after 13 pit bulls died in a garage fire in February at the Freeport home where he was a tenant. Police say they found equipment used to breed and train dogs for fighting.

After pleading guilty, Reddick told News 12 outside the courthouse that he was not fighting the dogs. When asked if he was training the dogs for fighting, he had no comment.

Bob Sowers, a detective with Nassau's SPCA, says the laws that govern animal cruelty are too lax. He says they don't fall under the criminal penal code, only agricultural and marketing rules.

“Unfortunately, your farm bureau, whether it be on the island or upstate, they have a very strong lobby that keeps throwing up roadblocks for any improvement in the legislation… It's insane,” said Sowers.

Reddick was prohibited from owning a pet for the next 15 years. He's also going to be the first person to sign up for the Nassau County Animal Abuse Registry.

The three pit bulls that survived the fire are now being held at the Town of Hempstead Animal Shelter.

Authorities say Reddick was previously convicted of animal fighting in 1998 and 2001.