Over a dozen pets found in neglected condition at Queens home: NYPD

Police were trying to reunite more than a dozen pets on Wednesday with their potential former owners after finding the emaciated and neglected animals at a home in Queens — suspecting they may have been stolen.

According to NYPD officials, 11 dogs and two cats were discovered on Monday when detectives executed a search warrant at a two-story home on Beach 44th Street in Edgemere in connection with a grand larceny pattern. All the pets showed signs of neglect and malnourishment, officials said.

Detectives also recovered heroin, possible fentanyl, as well as stolen tools and DJ equipment in the home and arrested 43-year-old resident Cory Elder on charges of drug possession, animal abuse and neglect, criminal possession of stolen property and driving without a license.

Police said they were alerted to the possibility that the pets had been taken from their owners when one of the dogs, a German shepherd, was confirmed stolen during a burglary in January.

The dog was taken from an address that appears to be a used car lot on Linden Boulevard in East New York, according to the NYPD. Unidentified suspects cut their way through a fence and broke in, allegedly stealing a total of $106,000 in property besides the dog, police said.

Erwin Veliz, whose brother owns the house next to where police said Elder lived, told Gothamist he’d often see Elder walking multiple dogs outside when he’d visit his brother.

“He was nice to me, we’d say a few words,” Veliz said in Spanish, adding that the dogs appeared to be in good condition.

He said he heard barking from the two-story home about a month ago, when he came to clean up his brother’s place. He also noted he thought Elder only had a handful of dogs, but wasn’t sure where he’d gotten them.

“We’re surprised by what happened,” Veliz said.

Elder was still awaiting his arraignment in Queens Criminal Court on Wednesday morning. Information for his lawyer was not immediately available.

A woman who identified herself as Elder’s wife answered the phone when Gothamist called, but said she did not want to comment on an active investigation.

The NYPD’s Animal Cruelty Squad was investigating the incident.

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