Case Snapshot
Case ID: 19555
Classification: Neglect / Abandonment
Animal: dog (pit-bull)
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Tuesday, Apr 3, 2012

County: Oneida

Charges: Misdemeanor
Disposition: Alleged

Alleged: Umar Aziz

Case Updates: 2 update(s) available

On Tuesday, Utica Police discovered eight dead and dying pit bull puppies and adults in a west Utica apartment.

The apartment was vacant and the tenant was in the Oneida County Jail on unrelated charges.

The story began on March 26, when police received a call for 'skinny dogs' at 1502 Whitesboro Street on the city's west side. The responding officer found the tenant, Umar Aziz, 22, and two healthy pitbulls.

The officer ticketed Aziz for having unlicensed dogs.

On Tuesday, authorities received a similar call. When they arrived this time, they found the apartment was vacant and the door open. The responding officer called for back-up and the officers found eight pit bulls, some dead and all in varying stages of malnutrition.

Three were dead on the scene. One adult dog was on a bed; two puppies were on the floor, near a heater. One died in a local animal hospital. Three are still alive.

Veterinarians say the dogs have been suffering for some time.

"After examining the dogs, they found that several of them had undigested leather in their stomachs, most likely from eating shoes, trying to survive. So this is not something that happened the past few days," says Sgt. Steve Hauck of UPD.

Tenant Umar Aziz was in the Oneida County Jail on unrelated charges. He now faces additional charges - three counts each of harboring an unlicensed dog and harboring an unvaccinated dog; eight counts each of keeping a dog in unsanitary conditions and animal cruelty, a misdemeanor.

He could face jail time if convicted of all counts.

The two healthy pit bulls police saw on March 26th were not in the apartment when they returned April 3.

Case Updates

A West Utica man accused of abandoning several dogs and letting them starve rejected a plea offer Thursday in Utica City Court.

Umar Aziz, 22, was offered nine months in Oneida County jail in exchange for a guilty plea, but he turned down that offer. He currently is in jail on an unrelated charge.

Aziz was charged with charges including keeping unlicensed and unvaccinated dogs, keeping dogs in unsanitary conditions and misdemeanor animal cruelty after eight puppies and dogs were found in his Whitesboro Street apartment on April 2.

Six of the eight pit bull or pit bull mix dogs have died, and police believe the emaciated dogs had been consuming leather shoes in an attempt to stay alive.

Aziz is due back in court on Tuesday, May 15.
Source: - Apr 19, 2012
Update posted on Apr 20, 2012 - 10:00AM 
Utica Police tell NEWSChannel 2 that a sixth dog has now died of the eight that were found clinging to life at a Whitesboro Street apartment earlier this week.

When police went inside a Whitesboro Street apartment, they say they found three dead pit bull puppies and several other dogs clinging to life. A fourth dog died later that day and a fifth died on Thursday.

Their owner Umar Aziz is charged with numerous counts of animal cruelty, keeping dogs in unsanitary conditions.

The dogs that were still alive were covered in fleas and severely malnourished.

Aziz is behind bars on unrelated charges and is scheduled to return to court on April 19. He plead not guilty in court on Thursday.
Source: - Apr 6, 2012
Update posted on Apr 6, 2012 - 2:31PM 


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