Police say eight dogs were found either dead or emaciated in a West Utica apartment on Whitesboro Street Tuesday afternoon.
Bill Thompson, who owns the building next door says his girlfriend was almost in tears after seeing one of the malnourished dogs.
He says that's when he made the phone call to Animal Control regarding the dogs on 22-year-old Umar Aziz's property.
But Mr. Thompson says he wasn't the first who one who has made a phone call.
Police say on March 26th, Animal Control received a call about emaciated dogs, and interviewed the owner.
Police say Aziz showed two healthy dogs, and the officer determined that they were well taken care of. However, Aziz did receive a ticket for having unlicensed dogs.
"The kid that lived there tried to sell my girlfriend a puppy, and that's when she noticed that the mother was skin and bones," said neighbor Bill Thompson. "Her hips were sticking out. It was just sad. It's disgusting," he said.
After Bill Thompson made the phone call, the Animal Control officer found an open door and called police for extra help.
Once they entered the home, it was a sight that no one wants to see.
"The found several dead dogs, several dogs that were near death," said Sgt. Steve Hauck.
The officers immediately took the animals to a nearby hospital where another dog ended up dying.
While the home was found abandoned, neighbor James Spann says he had seen Mr. Aziz walk some of the dogs before, and their gaunt appearance made him suspicious.
"It was like he wasn't being taken care of, like it wasn't eating," said Spann.
And it was enough for Mr. Spann to say something to the owner.
"I yelled out, what are you feeding the dogs? He looked at me and started smiling," said Spann.
But what Umar Aziz is being charged with is nothing to smile about.
"Something needed to be done about this. It's sad," said Thompson.
"This isn't a case of he couldn't afford to feed the dog, and the dogs went a little bit hungry. These dogs were malnourished, covered in fleas, and initially left for death," said Sgt. Hauck.