A dog that was denied entry into America from Russia died while being held at a JFK Airport facility earlier this month — leading the animal’s handler to accuse US health officials of cruelty.
Uti-Puti Knopochka — whose name means Itty Bitty Button in English — was facing deportation back to Europe along with 10 other dogs brought into the US on Sept. 8 when she fell sick at the ARK Import Export Center.
The dogs’ handler, lldar Gimadiev, 35, of Queens, who has filed a suit against the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention over the dog’s detention, is upset the animal center failed to notice the female Yorkshire terrier was seriously ill on the night it died, his lawyer said.
“It was a criminal act,” said Gimadiev’s attorney Richard Rosenthal, who has since asked the court to add the kennel company as a defendant in the suit.
“When they walked in and saw bloody urine at 12 a.m., they should have been concerned there was a problem. Waiting another six hours until the dog died rather than getting veterinary care is animal abuse.”
Assistant U.S. Attorney Joseph Marutollo notified the court on Monday of Uti-Puti Knopochka’s passing at ARK, a private company that provides pre- and post-travel animal care.
The letter states that an ARK animal handler noted that the pup was lethargic and had blood in her urine at 12:10 a.m.
She was still alive during a 3:30 a.m. kennel check. She was found dead in her cage at 6:30 a.m., the prosecutor’s letter states.
Marutollo said a full necropsy would be performed on Uti-Puti Knopocka’s remains.
Another Yorkshire terrier, Umnitsa-Razumnitsa, or Smarty Pants, is lethargic and bleeding, likely from a viral or bacterial infection, Marutollo wrote.
The pack of dogs was handed over to ARK Sept. 8 after the CDC determined that their rabies vaccination certificates were likely forged.
Rosenthal has argued that the CDC’s ruling on the dogs was “arbitrary and capricious” and requested a hearing to present evidence.
Rosenthal also filed a motion asking that the 11 dog owners, for whom Gimadiev was transporting the dogs, be added as parties to the suit.
Federal prosecutors, representing the CDC, have argued that Gimadiev is not legally entitled to a hearing and said that in July he had a dog sent back to Russia due to improper paperwork.
He is also accused of not declaring two of the 11 dogs that he most recently transported — including Umnitsa-Razumnitsa — smuggling them in secret compartments of his carry-on luggage, Marutollo noted. Gimadiev denied this.
“They say I am trying to smuggle. I say, listen, if I was trying to smuggle, I would not do it this way,” he previously said. “They say it is a hidden compartment, it is not. It has two sides.”
Gimadiev said he transports the dogs from breeders in Russia to American buyers for the free airfare.
U.S. District Judge Frederic Block has ordered the pups held at ARK pending his ruling.
Additional reporting by Khristina Narizhnaya
Share this article:
Source: Read Full Article