STRATFORD, N.Y. -- The Humane Society in Mayfield is caring for more than a dozen French Mastiffs after they were found in deplorable conditions, and the man accused of the neglect was in court Friday.

The court appearance for Bentley Valdez only lasted a minute, with a notice of new attorney being filed. 

But outside the courtroom, there were about 50 protesters who say that Valdez needs to surrender ownership of the surviving dogs so they can go to good homes. They also said crimes like this should be a felony.

"So starving, killing, abusing, overdriving a dog, is a misdemeanor. And we need to make that change in this state," said Frankie Page.

"That dog did not even have the strength to be able to lick water to get water in it. That said, the only strength it had was to be able to breathe," said Kathy Baker, who volunteers at the Brennan Memorial Humane Society.

The humane society says the surviving dogs are improving each day, and as of now they do not need any other donations of items at this time.