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Nassau man pleads guilty to animal cruelty after fire killed 13 dogs

A Freeport man will be the first person subject to registration on Nassau County’s animal abuser registry after pleading guilty Monday to charges relating to an animal fighting ring that was discovered when 13 of his dogs died in a massive blaze at a home he rented.

Anthony Reddick, 53, pleaded guilty Monday to 21 felony and misdemeanor animal cruelty charges. Among them was a felony animal fighting charge for breading the dogs, another felony count for training the dogs to fight, 16 misdemeanor animal fighting charges and three misdemeanor counts relating to dog fighting paraphernalia. Reddick will be sentenced next month to serve 1 to 3 years in prison.

“I wasn’t fighting them,” Reddick told reporters as he was led out of court. When pressed about the fact he pleaded guilty to animal fighting-related charges, he responded: “I have no comment. I have no comment for you.”

Police began investigating Reddick’s alleged criminal activity after a fire in a detached garage at 101 Hillside Ave. in Freeport on Feb. 28. Firefighters who responded to quell the massive flames discovered 13 dogs had died in the blaze. They also found two pit bulls alive and “dog fighting paraphernalia.”

The next day, detectives went to the home with a search warrant and discovered syringes, treadmills with dog tethers and restraint devices alleged used for breeding, prosecutors said. Another dog, which had facial scarring “consistent with dog fighting”, was also found. Officials said Reddick had been a tenant in the home and fled after the fire.

According to authorities, Reddick is the first person who is subject to register through Nassau County’s new animal abuser registry. Officials said he will be required to register as soon as he is released from jail. He will remain on the registry, which prohibits him from buying or adopting pets, for five years.

Sullivan also signed an order on Monday that prohibits Reddick from possessing any animals for the next 15 years. The judicial order will include routine checks to ensure Reddick remains in compliance, a law enforcement official said. Reddick’s attorney, Martha Leventhal, declined to comment on the case.