A Freeport man has admitted to breeding and training pit bulls for illegal dog fighting after a garage fire at his home killed 13 dogs seven months ago.
Anthony Reddick pleaded guilty Monday at Nassau County court to animal fighting and possession of animal fighting paraphernalia.
Prosecutors said the 53-year-old man fled the Hillside Avenue home he rented after Freeport village firefighters and police officers found the dead dogs and dog fighting paraphernalia while responding to the fire on Feb. 28.
Authorities executed a search warrant executed at the home along with Town of Hempstead Animal Control officials the following day and found another pit bull, named KK, that had face scarring consistent with dog fighting, prosecutors said.
Dog breeding and dog fight training paraphernalia that was found included treadmills with dog tethers, break-sticks with bite marks on them, dog fighting documentation and apparatus for restraining a female dog for breeding purposes, among other items.
Reddick was later apprehended in Hempstead.
The dogs that burned to death in the fire ranged in age from about 2 ½ months to 5 years old.
As a part of the plea deal, Reddick also forfeited to authorities three pit bulls that were found alive at the scene.
He is scheduled to be sentenced on Sept. 22.