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Tag: arrests

More cat torture, this time in the county

If you were thinking unthinkably cruel animal torture was strictly an urban phenomenon, take a look — if you have the stomach for it — at this item from the Northeast Booster.

The Booster — an Internet conglomeration of recycled news from Baltimore area newspapers — reports that three men were arrested and charged with animal cruelty Thursday after they allegedly tortured a cat in a microwave, then put it in a freezer, then tossed it into a river.

Kevin Abel, 19, Scott McDowell, 18, and Richard Rioux, 25, were all arrested last week in connection with the cat’s death, which occurred July 31 in the Edgemere area, according to Bill Toohey, a Baltimore County police spokesman.

Abel, who lives in White Marsh, was house sitting for a friend when he apparently invited the other two men over.

Toohey said the cat was spun on the floor, beaten, placed on ceiling fan, put in the microwave, and closed in the freezer before being placed in a bag with rocks and tossed into Back River, off Lynch Point.

The next day, the owner of the cat — whose identity wasn’t  revealed — was informed by McDowell that the animal was dead. All three men were intoxicated at the time of the incident, Toohey said.

Abel, Rioux, of White Marsh, and McDowell, of  Sparrows Point, were all charged with animal cruelty.  A hearing for all three is scheduled for 1 p.m. on Oct. 29 in District Court in Essex.

The largest crackdown on dogfighting — ever

The most ambitious crackdown on dogfighting in American history has now led to the seizure of more than 450 dogs, with raids and arrests in eight states.

Following an investigation initiated by the The Humane Society of Missouri, officers from multiple federal and state law enforcement agencies made arrests and seized dogs in Missouri, Illinois, Iowa, Texas, Oklahoma and Arkansas in what was “the largest simultaneous raid of multiple dogfighting operations in the history of the United States,” according to the Humane Society of the United States.

“This intervention is a momentous victory in our ongoing battle to end the cruel, criminal dogfighting industry,” said Wayne Pacelle, president and CEO of The HSUS. 

Pacelle reported on his blog: “Four United States Attorneys and a bevy of federal law enforcement agencies, along with The HSUS, The Humane Society of Missouri, and the ASPCA, raided multiple dogfighting operations, and seized at least 450 dogs, in what was the largest single day of actions against dogfighting in American history.”

The Humane Society of Missouri is sheltering more than 300 dogs —  mostly pit bulls — seized in the Missouri and Illinois raids. The dogs will be housed, cared for and evaluated at an  emergency shelter in St. Louis.

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Multi-state dogfighting raid nets 30 arrests

Thirty people have been arrested and as many as 350 dogs have been seized in raids across five states that animal welfare groups are calling the largest simultaneous raid of dogfighting operations in the U.S.

Authorities said that the raids were conducted by federal, state and local law enforcement agencies across Missouri, Illinois, Iowa, Texas and Oklahoma.

The raids followed a more than year-long investigation prompted by information from the Humane Society of Missouri, according to the Associated Press.

The ASPCA, which cooperated in the investigation, said the targets of the investigation ran what was believed to be the largest dogfighting operation in U.S. history.

John M. Bales, the U.S. attorney in eastern Texas, said nine people in his state were indicted on June 30 of three counts — conspiracy to commit an offense against the United States, sponsoring or exhibiting an animal in an animal fighting venture and buying, selling, delivering or transporting animals for participation in an animal fighting venture. If convicted, the defendants each face up to five years in federal prison and fines of up to $250,000.

Bales said eight people were arrested Wednesday in Panola and Gregg counties in Texas. Nine dogs, mostly pit bull terriers, were seized during a search of property in rural Panola County.

Group urges adult charges in pit bull case

Recycled Love, the Baltimore-based animal rescue organization, is urging State’s Attorney Patricia Jessamy to charge as adults the two juveniles arrested in connection with the burning death of a pit bull.

In a letter to supporters, Recycled Love says, in addition to being doused with gasoline, the pit bull known as Phoenix  had gasoline poured down her throat before she was set on fire.

Two 17-year-old twin brothers have been arrested in connection with the case. Phoenix, found on fire by a police officer last month, received burns to over 90 percent of her body. She died three days later.

“We have seen firsthand the abuse and neglect these animals experience at the hand of city residents. Phoenix ’s case, unfortunately, was one of the most severe,” the letter to Jessamy says. “We are committed to honoring her short life by changing the standards intact for investigation and prosecution of animal abuse and cruelty cases.

“Residents are angry that this type of abuse permeates the city in which they live, work and play … To this end, we are urging the Baltimore City State ’s Attorney office to prosecute all individuals arrested and charged with Phoenix ’s death to the fullest extent of the law.”

Recycled Love is asking its supporters to e-mail Jessamy at mail@stattorney.org.

The organization has also launched a petition drive, urging Mayor Sheila Dixon and the City Council to take animal abuse more seriously by creating a task force, making the animal control office part of the police department, and ensuring that animal cruelty cases are prosecuted to the fullest extent.

Parents say their sons didn’t set dog afire

Baltimore Police Commissioner Frederick H. Bealefeld III said he’s confident police arrested “the right guys” in connection with the death of Phoenix, the Baltimore pit bull who was doused with gasoline and set on fire last month.

But the parents of the boys say their sons weren’t involved.

“They didn’t do it. I would put my life on the line that they didn’t do it,”  the boys’ father, Charles Johnson told WBAL-TV. “If you’re on fire or anybody else is on fire, you’re going to take off running. That’s probably what the dog (did). Who knows where it was set on fire at.”

“You know, 17-year-olds, they’re going to get into a little something. But they wouldn’t set a dog on fire. I think one of them is afraid of a dog,”  Johnson said.

Bealefeld said today that the pit bull may have been part of a dogfighting operation.

Police charged the two teenagers in connection with the crime, but unexplainedly canceled a news conference yesterday to announce the arrests, according to a Baltimore Sun article

“I understand there are still some concerns about some of the things that [prosecutors] are looking for us to do in continuing with the investigation, but I’m confident that we have the right guys based on all that I’ve heard,” Bealefeld said.

“We got some information in the early stages concerning possible identity of these guys, and then, based on a review of evidence from the scene, we were able to secure another witness who put us over the top,” Bealefeld said.

WBAL-TV identified the juveniles as Travis and Jermaine Johnson, who are twin brothers.

Twin brothers, 17, arrested in pit bull burning

Baltimore police  have charged two teenagers with dousing a pit bull with gasoline and setting it on fire, but a press conference on the arrests was canceled yesterday.

Police said the arrests were made over the weekend.

The suspects were charged as juveniles, and their identities have not been made public. One TV report, however, identified them as 17-year-old twin brothers.

A WBAL-TV report identified the boys’ mother as Denise Griffin. Mrs. Griffin said her sons were taken in for questioning on Friday night.

“I know they didn’t do it. I keep hearing different things around the neighborhood about the dog ran up to there. The dog — nobody said the dog was right there. So, I feel as though I know my boys didn’t do it. It’s a reward out and then wasn’t nobody picked up around there until they said something about a reward,” Griffin said.

The case had raised the ire of animal welfare advocates across the country, and between public donations and those from humane organizations, thousands of dollars poured into a reward fund for information leading to the arrest and conviction of those who killed the dog, who was named Phoenix after she arrived at the Baltimore animal shelter.

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Burned dogs believed part of fighting ring

The two dogs that were set on fire in Dallas, and burned so badly that they had to be euthanized, apparently were part of a dogfighting operation.

Dallas police say they’ve arrested two 17-year-olds in connection with the April 4 incident.

Some of the seven other dogs seized from the property of one of them, Lefferido Sudds, had injuries that a veterinarian said were consistent with dog fighting. Those dogs’ injuries were so severe that they, too, were euthanized.

Sudds and Jucorey Davis are facing animal cruelty charges, the Fort Worth Star-Telegram reported.