EAST FLATBUSH, Brooklyn (WABC) -- The NYPD and ASPCA rescued more than 20 dogs they say were neglected and used for fighting, and after the suspect was released, he and his family allegedly attacked their landlords.
Dr. Kennisha Gilbert says she was beaten with a windshield wiper that left a gash on her forehead and stitches in her lip.
She says she and her husband were beaten outside their home on East 94th Street in East Flatbush in a dispute over the shocking condition of the abused animals.
Authorities say the tenants kept and bred the dogs in deplorable conditions in a filthy upstairs apartment. Many of the dogs were chained to the floor 24 hours a day.
Dr. Gilbert, an obstetrics and gynecology physician, said she spent nine months trying to get police and the ASPCA to do something about the conditions and to rescue the dogs.
"My kids had to move out of their rooms because the noise from the dogs would disturb them and wake them up at night," she said. "And they were fighting, especially when they were hungry. Urine from upstairs would come down the walls."
On Thursday, police finally arrested two people -- 26-year-old Ravon Sevice and 27-year-old Tafaniel Michaud.
Sevice was charged with 20 counts each of torturing animals and neglect of impounded animals, as well as two counts of acting injurious to a child and one count of criminal mischief. Michaud was charged with criminal mischief.
The men were taken to the precinct, where they received desk appearance tickets. And when Dr. Gilbert came home, she said Sevice was waiting for her.
"He broke a windshield wiper off the car, and that's how I ended up with that mark on my face," she said. "And once that first act had been committed, an avalanche followed."
Soon, others from the apartment joined in the assault, and Dr. Gilbert and her husband were beaten -- some of it while she was on the phone with 911.
Police came and arrested all four residents of the upstairs apartment. Gang assault and other charges were filed against Sevice, 47-year-old Kim Evelyn, and two male minors, ages 17 and 16, both with the Evelyn surname.
Dr. Gilbert said it was traumatic for her whole family.
"My children were inside the whole time," she said. "They were looking out the window. They saw their parents violently assaulted."
The dogs were removed from the property and transported into the ASPCA's care, where veterinary and behavior experts will conduct forensic exams and provide the dogs with much-needed medical care, behavioral treatment and enrichment.
"Upon arrival on scene, it was clear these animals were living in terrible conditions and needed to be immediately rescued and brought to safety," said Howard Lawrence, Vice President of ASPCA Humane Law Enforcement. "We're grateful to the NYPD for continuing to prioritize animal welfare in New York City and are proud to play a role in providing these dogs with the care they so badly need and deserve."
Earlier this year, the ASPCA announced the development of a Recovery & Rehabilitation Center in the Hudson Valley to expand their capacity to care for animals rescued through their partnership with the NYPD.
The facility is slated to open in 2023 and will work in conjunction with the ASPCA's Animal Recovery Center and Canine Annex for Recovery & Enrichment in Manhattan, where they currently provide care for NYC's animal victims of cruelty and neglect.
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