On Friday, Delaware County Sheriff Craig DuMond held a press conference to announce the arrest of a Franklin man on various animal fighting and animal cruelty related charges following a tip from the Delaware Valley Humane Society that resulted in the rescue of twenty abused dogs used for dog fighting.

On February 5, twenty unlicensed dogs were found at a residence on County Highway 21 in the Town of Franklin. According to the Sheriff's Office, the dogs were confined in deplorable conditions without proper food, water or care. During the investigation, evidence that the dogs had been used for dog fighting and related activities was uncovered.

Following further investigation with the collaboration of sheriff's deputies, the Delaware Valley Humane Society, Susquehanna SPCA, Broome County Humane Society and veterinarians associated with those shelters, and guidance from the Humane Society of the United States, on February 12, 41 year-old Nasir Azmat of Franklin was arrested and charged with a total of forty-one counts of violating New York State’s animal fighting and animal cruelty laws.

Azmat has been charged with twenty counts of possessing dogs under circumstances evincing an intent that such animals engage in animal fighting; one count of owning or possessing animal fighting paraphernalia with the intent to engage in or otherwise promote or facilitate animal fighting; and twenty counts of overdriving, torturing and injuring animals - failure to provide proper sustenance; all of which are misdemeanor violations of the Agriculture and Markets Law. Azmat was also ticketed by the Town of Franklin Dog Control Officer and charged with nineteen counts of harboring an unlicensed dog.

Azmat was issued appearance tickets and directed to appear in the Town of Franklin Court at 6:00 p.m. on February 27, 2020, to answer the charges.

Sheriff Craig DuMond stated the following about the case...

"Looking into the eyes of these innocent victims of such horrific circumstances, it's very hard not to become furious. To think that this perpetrator walks away without an immediate court arraignment after facing 41 counts of animal cruelty charges is disgusting. The Governor, Legislature and their advocates keep perpetuating the lie that we in law enforcement are fear mongering. This is not fear mongering; this is sticking up for the victims of real cases. Victims who are defenseless and deserve an advocate. If our elected officials are not going to advocate for victims, they should all be removed and replaced as far as I'm concerned". I am honored and very proud of our efforts in this case and grateful for the relationship with share with our victim advocates such as the Delaware Valley Humane Society".