Joshua Mack Facing Felony, Misdemeanor Animal Cruelty Charges for Dog Fighting
May 3, 2018
Joint News Release by Erie County District Attorney’s Office and the SPCA Serving Erie County:
BUFFALO MAN FACING ANIMAL CRUELTY CHARGES FOR DOG FIGHTING
UPDATE, JULY 11: Yesterday, Mack pled guilty to one felony count of Prohibition of Animal Fighting in violation of NYS Agriculture and Markets Law 351(2)(b). The matter is scheduled for sentencing on September 21, 2018 before Supreme Court Justice Paul Wojtaszek in Part 16 of Erie County Court. The judge capped the sentencing at a three-year term of incarceration to run concurrent to the sentence he will receive for a felony drug conviction in Cattaraugus County; sentencing in that matter is scheduled for September 17 in Cattaraugus County. Read the full update here.
UPDATE, JUNE 5: There was no advancement concerning Mack’s animal cruelty charges in Buffalo City Court this morning. At this time, the SPCA is awaiting the scheduling of a future court date.
Erie County District Attorney John J. Flynn and the SPCA Serving Erie County announce that 35-year-old Joshua Mack of Buffalo has been arraigned before Buffalo City Court Judge Kevin J. Keane on four felony counts of Prohibition of Animal Fighting, one misdemeanor count of Prohibition of Animal Fighting and three misdemeanor counts of Overdriving, Torturing and Injuring Animals.
It is alleged that on March 22, 2018, a search warrant was executed at the defendant’s home on Roma Avenue in the City of Buffalo. During the search, seven dogs and one puppy with varying levels of injuries and scarring consistent with dog fighting were rescued from the home. In addition, dog fighting paraphernalia was removed from the property.
The dogs were brought to the SPCA’s on-site infirmary on Harlem Road in West Seneca for immediate care and treatment. They are currently being housed and cared for at a confidential location. Three of the dogs have been signed over to the SPCA by the defendant.
If convicted on all charges, Mack faces a maximum of up to 4 years imprisonment and/or $25,000 fine.
Mack is scheduled to return on Tuesday, June 5 at 9:30 a.m. for a felony hearing. Judge Keane signed a 6 month temporary order prohibiting defendant from possessing any animals during the pendency of the case.
“Several local agencies came together in this circumstance and recognized the barbarity of dog fighting; it doesn’t take long to connect violence to animals with violence to people. When we can move forward with not only misdemeanor charges but felony charges against an individual allegedly involved in some stage of dog fighting, it’s proof that, as a community, we’re moving in the right direction,” said SPCA Serving Erie County President and CEO Gary Willoughby.
“Crimes committed against defenseless animals will not be tolerated in Erie County,” said Erie County District Attorney John J. Flynn. “These animals were tortured and suffered numerous injuries at the hands of their owner, the person who should have been caring for these dogs. I will continue to prosecute animal abusers and seek the maximum punishment for their crimes.”
DA Flynn commends the outstanding investigative work of NYS Peace Officers and SPCA Serving Erie County Animal Cruelty Investigators Tyler Robertson and William Heine.
Assistant District Attorney Erin E. Hart of the DA’s Felony Trials Bureau is prosecuting the case.
As are all persons accused of a crime, the defendant is presumed innocent until proven guilty in a court of law.
May 3 press conference announcing Mack animal cruelty charges; from left to right, ADA Erin E. Hart, the
SPCA’s Gina Browning, Erie County District Attorney John Flynn, SPCA Animal Cruelty Investigator William Heine,
and student Courtney W.