Hempstead man accused of animal cruelty, dog fighting

HEMPSTEAD - A Hempstead man faced a judge on animal cruelty and dog fighting charges today after police say they found a dead dog in his yard and another that was starving and severely wounded.

Heading into a court conference, Reuben Phillips told News 12 Long Island he had no comment. Phillips maintains he was not involved with animal abuse and claims he does not even live in the house. Officials say they received an anonymous tip and sent animal control officers to the home in Hempstead. Officers say upon arrival, the backyard was full of feces, smelled of urine and there was no food or water in sight. According to officials, they found two pit bulls named Rahman and Snow. Snow was found dead, face down in the dirt.The district attorney?s office says Phillips has an extensive criminal history dating back to 1995 for crimes like selling controlled substances, but no history of animal abuse.

Phillips is due back in court next month and could face up to two years behind bars.

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