A Broad Channel man has been charged with 90 counts of animal cruelty after 45 dogs and puppies were found in unsanitary conditions in his home.
On Tuesday, December 6, Queens District Attorney Melinda Katz announced that Fred Thomson has been charged with failure to provide proper care to animals. According to a press release, “on November 16, NYPD officials and ASPCA employees conducting a court- authorized search found 45 dachshund-like dogs and puppies living in Thomson’s one-family residence, where there was feces and urine on the floors, walls, and various pieces of furniture. The animals were found covered in feces and urine, with dirty haircoats, overgrown nails, and presenting with gum disease. They also found multiple white mattresses almost entirely stained brown from excrement and completely chewed through. The officials believed the animals were without sufficient food and water.”
“According to the complaint, a strong smell of ammonia, associated with urine, emanated from within the residence. Because the home lacked proper ventilation, responding personnel required masks, respirators, and other personal protective equipment to safely remove the animals from the residence.”
Thomson, 69, of East 9th Road in Broad Channel, was arraigned on Tuesday in front of Queens Criminal Court Judge Jeffrey A. Gershuny on a 90-count complaint charging him with 45 counts of failure to provide proper food and drink to an impounded animal and 45 counts of overdriving, torturing, and injuring animals/failing to provide sustenance. Judge Gershuny ordered the defendant to return to Court on February 6, 2023. He faces up to one year in jail, if convicted.
“Animals are voiceless members of our community who deserve proper care and sustenance. In my time as the District Attorney, I have seen far too many cases of cruelty to these sentient beings, who feel pain and suffer distress much in the same way people do,” District Attorney Katz said. “Although there is a dire need for stronger animal cruelty penalties in our state, my office will continue to hold accountable those who choose to neglect or torture defenseless animals in Queens County. This defendant is facing 90 separate counts of criminal charges for his alleged actions. I thank our partners at the NYPD and the ASPCA for helping to rescue the animals and provide them with proper care.”
The rescued animals are now in the care of the ASPCA, where experts are conducting veterinary forensic exams and providing the dogs with ongoing medical care, behavioral treatment, and enrichment to prepare them for adoption as appropriate.
ASPCA President and CEO Matt Bershadker said, “Once we became aware of the extremely poor conditions these dogs were in, we mobilized quickly to stop their suffering and provide them with expert medical and behavioral care. This case reflects the lifesaving impact of our partnership with the NYPD, and we thank them and the Queens District Attorney’s Office for their continued support in protecting vulnerable animals across New York City.”
The investigation was conducted by detectives assigned to the New York City Police Department’s Animal Cruelty Investigation Squad.
Assistant District Attorney Lauren T. Michalski, Section Chief of the District Attorney’s Animal Cruelty Prosecutions Unit, is prosecuting the case with the assistance of Assistant District Attorney Jessica Wang, under the supervision of the Animal Cruelty Prosecutions Unit Chief Nicoletta J. Caferri and the overall supervision of Executive Assistant District Attorney for the Major Crimes Division Daniel A. Saunders.
Note that criminal complaints and indictments are accusations. A defendant is presumed innocent until proven guilty.
Photos provided by the ASCPA.