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Two charged with animal cruelty; Malnourished pit bulls seized from Dewey Avenue home

With two malnourished adult pit bulls slowly being nursed back to health by the veterinary staff of the SPCA Serving Erie County, one of their owners was released from custody Wednesday while the other remained jailed on detainers from an earlier criminal case.

Santford Banks, 22, was released from custody following his Buffalo City Court arraignment, but Alexandria A. Johnson, 21, remained in the Erie County Holding Center in lieu of $200 City Court bail and a Cheektowaga Town Court detainer from a previous arrest.

Banks and Johnson, who live on Dewey Avenue, are due back in City Court on Nov. 9.

Court officials declined to comment further on Johnson's previous arrest.

The two were taken into custody at about 4 p.m. Tuesday after Senior SPCA Officer Michael Armatys, responding to a call, found the male and female dogs.

Banks and Johnson are charged with two counts each of animal cruelty, each of which carries a possible local jail term of up to one year and a fine of up to $1,000.

SPCA spokeswoman Gina Browning on Wednesday evening said the female dog put on two pounds overnight after being cared for at the agency's Ensminger Road facility in the Town of Tonawanda, but the adult male, while much more responsive than he was Tuesday, is still largely immobile.