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For nine months, Dr Kennisha Gilbert contacted authorities about a case of animal neglect in his tenant’s apartment upstairs. But even with video evidence, no one came to help the owner and OB-GYN doctor. The situation has only worsened over time. She reported excessive barking, a smell of ammonia coming from upstairs and urine dripping through the ceiling.
When Gilbert’s social media pleas finally caught the attention of the police and ASPCA, they discovered the horrible truth. At least 20 dogs were found in deplorable conditions, forced to continue to breed. When the tenant was picked up, he was furious with Gilbert and did the unthinkable.
Apartment puppy mill closes
When the cops and the ASPCA finally took action, they found 20 dogs and puppies crammed into the New York apartment. Most of the dogs were pushed together in crates while others were chained to the ground. Authorities assume the dogs were kept this way 24/7, forced to rest in their own feces. They immediately removed the dogs from the house.
“It was clear that these animals were living in terrible conditions and needed to be immediately rescued and brought to safety,” said Howard Lawrence, ASPCA Vice President of Humane Law Enforcement.
Ravon Service and Tafaniel Michaud were arrested for torture and neglect of animals. Gilbert says Service’s parents first lived in the upstairs unit in 2019, but she wasn’t going to renew their lease due to fighting and other issues. Yet the pandemic made them stay longer. Service then took over the lease for the apartment.
The suspect seeks revenge
When Gilbert came home from work one day, Service was waiting for him with several relatives to help him. He was furious that his dogs were gone. Gilbert says he ripped off her wiper and beat her with it, leaving a gash on her head. Then he and his relatives started beating Gilbert and her husband. She said her children were inside the apartment and could see everything.
“I was beaten on my own property. It’s not fair, ”said Gilbert.
Police arrived at the scene shortly after and took Service and three other people into custody. The locks in the Service apartment have since been changed. Still, it will take some time for Gilbert’s family to recover from the trauma they suffered.
Dogs are in good hands
The ASPCA said the dogs are doing well and receiving proper medical care. Still, it shouldn’t have been that difficult for help to arrive. Gilbert had advocated for the dogs to be saved for months, but no one helped until the story gained popularity on social media.
“Eventually the neighbors also started to complain – the smell, the flies, the noise,” Gilbert said.
Gilbert claims that people often came to his door asking for puppies. So she knew that the tenants upstairs were running a puppy mill. Sadly, many inhumane ranchers get away with it even longer.
Hopefully this is where the horrible situation ends. No more dogs will suffer in this small apartment, and Gilbert’s family will no longer have to deal with urine seeping through the walls. If only all the puppy mills could close.
Taxation without representation. I will continue to tag elected officials, if it was a story of tenant abuse of a landlord, they would have pounced on themselves to ask how to help. pic.twitter.com/PuadbdRjCL @NNickPerry @CMInezDBarron @JumaaneWilliams @nycpa @ NYPD67Pct
– Kennisha Gilbert (@GilbertKennisha) September 24, 2021