New Britain

Crocodile Monitor, Dogs Seized in New Britain Animal Cruelty Case

New Britain police have arrested a woman months after finding a crocodile monitor and two emaciated dogs in a home that officials said was in such poor condition that the New Britain Health Department condemned it. 

Officers responded to a home on Chestnut Street in New Britain on June 19 after someone reported a foul odor and flies coming from the residence, according to police. 

Officers could not reach anyone when they responded and feared someone might be dead inside so they went in through a window, according to police. 

Inside the apartment, officers found a crocodile monitor, which Connecticut residents are prohibited from owning. The estimated black market value for the reptile is approximately $15,000. The Central Florida Zoo describes the crocodile monitor as "one of the longest lizard species in the world," close in length to the Komodo dragon. 

Police said they also heard dogs barking from a separate room, police said. 

Police described the apartment as filthy and said there was feces throughout, it smelled of urine and was hot with no fans or air conditioners to cool the animals. 

New Britain Animal Control obtained a search warrant to seize the crocodile monitor and the dogs and determined that no person was living in the apartment, police said. 

They said there was water, but no food for the animals. 

Several aquariums and cages were piled up inside as well, according to police. 

Police said the property owner identified the renter of the apartment as 26-year-old Eileen Rodriguez, of Newington. They said she and her boyfriend, 33-year-old Carlos Colon were believed to harboring the animal in the apartment under filthy conditions. 

Colon was arrested on Nov. 21 and charged with three counts of cruelty to animals. He pleaded not guilty and is due back in court on April 17, according to online court records. 

Police said Rodriguez immediately relinquished ownership of the two dogs to the New Britain Animal Control and the Crocodile Monitor was turned over to the Connecticut Environmental Police.

Rodriguez was arrested by warrant on March 19 and charged with two counts of cruelty to animals and illegal possession of prohibited species without a permit.

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