Authorities: Bellport man charged with animal cruelty for starving dogs

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A Bellport man is charged with animal cruelty after authorities say several dogs were found malnourished and starving at his family's property in Mastic Beach.

The SPCA say two young male pit bulls were moved from the home on Friday. SPCA Chief Roy Gross says the dogs ribs and spine were visible to the point of emaciation.

"They were left in disgusting, terrible condition, without food or water," says Gross. "When you see something like that, the dogs in that condition -- that certainly didn't happen in a day, two days or a week."

Investigators say they found the dogs outside in a dirt-filled, metal-fenced kennel.

MORE: Long Island Crime Coverage

The SPCA says 22-year-old Ra Quan Wessley, of Bellport, was charged with two counts of animal cruelty. But the investigation is ongoing and officials say more charges could be filed.

A third dog was also found inside the home. The SPCA says all three dogs were taken to the Brookhaven Animal Shelter.

Authorities say they learned of the situation through a tip. They're urging the public to report anything suspicious.

"An animal can't pick up the phone and call us, so we rely on the public," says Gross. "If they don't make that call, we can't do anything."

Cases of suspected animal cruelty or neglect in Suffolk County can be reported to the SPCA at 631-382-7722. Investigators say all calls will be kept confidential.

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