A hearing on the request to move the dogs out of Charlotte-Mecklenburg Animal Control’s shelter is scheduled for Friday.
Prosecutors want to place the dogs in a private kennel, which they say would be better equipped to provide long term care until the court case is resolved.
The dogs were seized two months ago in what local authorities described at the time as one of the largest dog-fighting operations they’d ever encountered.
Charlotte-Mecklenburg police say they found 27 pit bulls, tethers and a fighting arena in east Mecklenburg County, and they arrrested two men.
Lefonze Williams, 42, was indicted on 36 counts of dog fighting, and Melvin Smith, 46, was indicted on one count of conspiracy to commit dog fighting, according to the Charlotte Observer. Both were identified in court documents as the dogs’ owners.
Police said the property, near J.H. Gunn Elementary School, was used for training and fighting dogs.
Assistant District Attorney Glenn Cole says the city’s shelter “is not meant for long-term placement of animals, and seized canines may suffer behavioral and physical harm if maintained in this space.”
A court hearing on what to do with the pit bulls is set for Friday.
Prosecutors are also asking the judge to order Williams and Smith to pay for the cost of shelter, food and care, according to court documents.
If Williams and Smith decline to assume responsibility for the animals, prosecutors have asked that the dogs be forfeited. In that event, it would be up to the animal shelter to determine whether the dogs are suitable for adoption or will be euthanized.
(Photo: John D. Simmons / Charlotte Observer)
Posted by jwoestendiek April 10th, 2013 under Muttsblog.
Tags: animal control, care, charlotte, dog fighting, dogfighting, euthanasia, expense, forfeit, health, investigation, judge, kennel, mecklenburg county, moving, operation, ownership, permission, pit bull, pit bulls, pitbull, pitbulls, private, raid, responsibility, seized, shelter, well being
Officials in Pennsylvania believe they have found the source of that pit bull corpse that turned up in Chester County — a dogfighting operation they say operated out of a home in West Brandywine.
Chester County District Attorney Tom Hogan announced the arrests of a husband and wife Wednesday.
He described their home as “a house of pain and horror for the dogs that lived there. The defendants’ dogs lived by one rule: Fight and win, or die.”
Hogan said five young children also lived in the home, one of whom was bitten by one of the dogs. In retaliation, that animal was hung with a coaxial cable, he said.
The Unionville Times reports that, according to the criminal complaint, the father, who referred to the animals as “livestock,” acknowledged killing at least 10 dogs by hanging or electrocution, and said the couple was “planning on making the training and fighting of pit bull dogs a family business.”
Six living dogs were recovered from the home and are in the custody of the SPCA, according to the York Daily Record
The investigation began after two abandoned pit bulls were found — one, who had been burned, dead in cage; another maimed and burned but still alive, alongside a road. That second dog, Radar, is recovering under the care of the Chester County SPCA.
The younger of the pit bulls was found on the same road the Santiago’s lived on, just miles away.
Santiago was first identified as a suspect when he was arrested on drug charges as part of Operation Silent Night, an operation aimed at curbing violent crime in Coatesville. Neighbors had complained about large numbers of people visiting the property, many from out of state and most bringing dogs with them.
“When we got into that home, what we found was a nightmare,” Hogan said. “This was a full-scale operation of not only dog fighting, but dog training, dog breeding and dog killing.”
They discovered a treadmill, tools used to encourage aggression, and an arena in the basement, with blood-spattered plywood barriers set up around the fighting area. Up to 16 pit bulls were kept in the home at one time, Hogan said.
Santiago and Acampora are charged with more than 30 counts of animal cruelty, endangering the welfare of a child, and conspiracy to commit animal cruelty. Both were being held in Chester County Prison.
(Photos: Unionville Times)
Posted by jwoestendiek December 13th, 2012 under Muttsblog.
Tags: animal cruelty, animals, arrests, bodies, brandywine, burned, chester county, coatesville, corpses, cruelty to animals, district attorney, dog fighting, dogfighting, dogs, father, five children, injured, maimed, mom, mother, operation, pennsylvania, pets, pit bull, pit bulls, pitbull, pitbulls, pop, spca, tom hogan
Veterinarians and animal welfare workers today euthanized at least nine of the 300 pit bulls rescued from a dogfighting ring in the Philippines — and they expect to euthanize dozens more — primarily because of there are no facilities in which to rehabilitate them.
Anna Cabrera, of the Philippine Animal Welfare Society, said 17 of the seized dogs had been put down a day after the raids.
Noting that some of the rescued dogs had been seized before from dogfighting operations, Cabrera said she feared many of them — if simply adopted out — could again end up facing “a fate worse than death.”
How many more will still be euthanized depends on their health, behavior, their potential to be rehabilitated, and the animal welfare group’s supply of drugs — reportedly only enough to euthanize 70 animals, the Associated Press reported.
Police arrested eight South Koreans suspected of running an illegal online gambling operations in which players outside the Philippines bet on dogs fighting at the compound.
Welfare society veterinarian Wilford Almora said many of the pit bulls had injuries from previous fights, including ripped ears and tongues.
He said his group had enough drugs to euthanize 70 dogs, and had put down at least nine Tuesday afternoon with 13 more planned before they finished later in the evening.
“We are not in a hurry. We just want to make sure that the ones we put to sleep are the ones that deserve to be put to sleep based on their medical condition,” he said.
Cabrera said it was not possible to care for all the pit bulls that were rescued and it would be irresponsible to allow the injured animals to be adopted.
Most of the dogs were seized from a 5-acre coffee plantation in San Pablo city, where they were kept in metal fuel drums and tied to heavy steel chains. Police also recovered 30 dogs from an arena in the nearby town of Calauan where a dogfight was about to begin.
More than 300 dogs were rescued in the separate raids. The eight suspects, charged with animal cruelty and gambling, are being turned over to immigration officials.
If convicted of illegal gambling, they face a maximum of 12 years in prison. The charge of animal cruelty carries a penalty of up to two years. No one in the Philippines has ever served time for animal cruelty, the Associated Press reported.
(Photo: Philippine Animal Welfare Society)
Posted by jwoestendiek April 3rd, 2012 under Muttsblog.
Tags: 300 dogs, animal cruelty, anna cabrera, arena, arrests, cruelty to animals, death, dog farm, dog fighting, dogfighting, euthanasia, euthanized, facilities, farm, fate worse than death, gambling, injuries, internet, lack, manila, operation, paws, philippine animal welfare society, philippines, pit bulls, pitbulls, put to sleep, raids, rehabilitation, ring, steel drums
Animal advocates in North Carolina are hoping last week’s seizure of 160 dogs from a large scale breeding operation in Stokes County helps propel the state legislature to finally pass a puppy mill law.
The dogs were removed from Dan River Bullies in Danbury, described by authorities as a crowded facility where dogs slept in their own waste in makeshift, mouse-infested kennels with exposed wires.
It was a “heartbreaking” scene, in the view of Kim Alboum, director of the Humane Society of North Carolina. She said she hopes it serves as a catalyst that will push North Carolina to demand more regulation of commercial dog breeders.
“My expectation is that our legislators are going to see the outcry from the general public and hopefully help us move something forward and get some regulations in place,” Alboum told the Raleigh News and Observer.
“The majority of people want to have regulations for commercial dog breeders in North Carolina,” she added. “They want to have some level of accountability.”
A bill to regulate commercial breeders passed the state Senate in 2009, but didn’t make it through the House. Alboum said she’s working with North Carolina animal control officers and legislators to come up with a new bill.
The Humane Society of the United States, which took part in the raid, estimates there are 250 to 300 commercial dog breeders operating in North Carolina. While most may be responsible and caring owners, Alboum said, not all are, and the state has been drawing unethical breeders from other states that have passed puppy mill laws.
Nationally, at least 19 states have some level of regulation in place for commercial dog breeders, the Humane Society says.
More than 500 dogs were recovered in the five puppy mill raids in North Carolina last year – in Wake, Caldwell, Franklin, Perquimans and Lincoln counties.
The dogs seized last week have ended up in shelters in Greensboro, Raleigh and Charlotte.
Marsha Williams, executive director of the Guilford County Animal Shelter, which received 129 of them, said their problems include eye issues, hematomas, heart murmurs, severe dental problems, matting and dermatitis. Some of the dogs have broken jaws and teeth.
The dogs included French and English bulldogs, Boston terriers, Shih Tzus, Yorkshire terriers and Chihuahuas.
Charges are expected to be filed against the owners, Willis and Lucile Mabe, after veterinarians finish evaluating the dogs.
(Top Photo by Brooke Cain / Raleigh News & Observer; bottom two photos courtesy of Humane Society of the United States)
Posted by jwoestendiek February 16th, 2012 under Muttsblog.
Tags: animal welfare, animals, boston terriers, breeders, breeding, chihuahuas, commericial, dan river bullies, danbury, dogs, english bulldogs, french bulldogs, humane society, kim alboum, large scale, legislation, legislature, north carolina, operation, pets, puppy mill law, puppy mills, shih tzus, stokes county, yorkshire terriers
It’s a done deal: Dogs Deserve Better, a nonprofit group that fights chaining, penning and other forms of cruelty to dogs, has closed on Michael Vick’s old house — the former headquarters of the quarterback’s dogfighting operation, Bad Newz Kennels.
Dogs Deserve Better plans to turn the property in Surry County, Virginia, into a center to rehabilitate and resocialize dogs that have been mistreated and abused, with the hope of finding them adoptive homes.
The name of the facility will be: The Good Newz Rehab Center for Chained and Penned Dogs.
The potential deal, which we told you about in February, became a reality in May, when Dogs Deserve Better raised enough money for the down payment and secured a bank loan to purchase the 4,600-square-foot white brick house and surrounding 15 acres.
The group paid $176,507 as the down payment for the house, liisted at $595,000, and is still raising money to pay for the rest and make improvements.
Once complete, it will be a $2.5 million facility, founder Tamira Thayne said told the Virginian-Pilot.
“Purchasing this property and in effect giving it back to the victims of the abuse that occurred here is a very powerful step for animal advocates and our country’s dogs alike,” said Thayne. “We are sending a message to those who want to abuse and fight dogs that a new day is dawning in America, a day where dogs are treated with the love and respect they deserve as companions to humans.”
The Washington Post had a report on the property’s transition from a place of nightmares to a place of hope earlier this month.
Dogs Deserve Better, which will move from its Pennsylvania base to Virginia, has never had a facility of its own, but it says it has rescued and rehomed more than 3,000 dogs during its existence.
Dogs Deserve Better says having the facililty in a house will help in socializing the dogs it takes in. The group hopes to rescue and rehabilitate 500 dogs a year.
Thayne said that, in addition to welcoming visitors, Dogs Deserve Better will also build a memorial on the property for the dogs who died and suffered there, according to Dogster.com.
For more information on the purchase, the plans and how you can donate, visit the website of Dogs Deserve Better.
Posted by jwoestendiek June 1st, 2011 under Muttsblog.
Tags: abused, adopt, adoption, animals, bad newz kennels, bought, buys, center, chained, dogfighting, dogs, dogs deserve better, dogster, football, former, good newz rehab center, home, house, michael vick, mistreated, moonlight road, nfl, operation, penned, pets, philadelphia eagles, pit bulls, property, purchase, rehab, rehabilitation, rescue, ring, surry county, tamira thayne, virginia
A children’s day care center in a Chicago suburb was also used for dogfighting — up until it was raided Tuesday, authorities said.
Three men were charged Wednesday, including the husband of the operator of the day care center, located in Maywood. Authorities were seeking two others, according to the Associated Press.
Nine battered dogs, four of them puppies, were rescued. Investigators found a blood spattered garage floor and wounded and malnourished dogs not far from where the children played.
Cook County Sheriff Tom Dart said about 10 children were found in the day care center during the raid, but they were not in the immediate vicinity of the dogs. The day care center was shut down Wednesday.
Posted by jwoestendiek September 25th, 2009 under Muttsblog, videos.
Tags: arrests, center, chicago, children, cook county, day care, dog, dogfighting, dogs, fighting, investigation, maywood, operation, raid, rescued, ring
Grisly testimony was heard yesterday in the trial of a woman accused of being a member of one of England’s biggest dog fighting gangs.
The case was brought against Claire Parker by the Royal SPCA after Steve Ibinson, an undercover investigator, infiltrated a dog fighting gang called the Farmer Boys in Northern Ireland for a BBC Panorama program.
The busted dogfighting ring had links to Northern Irish paramilitary organizations, according to the Times of London.
Parker, a 44-old breeder of Boston terriers, denies being present at a dog fight, using her property for fights and owning three pit bulls.
Parker is on trial with 33-year-old Mohammed Nasir Farooq, who it is claimed acted as the “time keeper” during the Lincolnshire fight in May 2007.
At the opening of what’s expected to be a two-week trial, the Lincoln Magistrates Court heard how some of the gang made the dogs train on treadmills and in swim tanks, used lunge poles with dummies hanging on them, electrocuted dogs, and used “rape harnesses” to force female dogs to mate.
RSPCA raids also uncovered weighing scales, ’break sticks’ for parting the animals once their jaws had locked on to each other and veterinary products to treat wounded animals.
Ibinson, a former SAS operative who had lived in fear of his life following the investigation, uncovered links between the gang and dog fighting fanatics across the United Kingdom. His identity was revealed after his death, from natural causes, earlier this year while serving as a security guard in Afghanistan.
Statements he made are being given as part of a case that has seen five people from across the North of England already admit various dog fighting offenses.
In a secretly recorded video, Gary Adamson, a 38-year-old welder, is shown standing next to three reinforced pens in his yard boasting about how his pit bull, Pablo, suffered a “real good ragging” during a 26-minute fight held in the garage of Parker’s home in Lincolnshire.
In his statement, Ibinson said that Adamson was a representative of the Farmers Boys, from County Armagh, and aspired to be for pit bull fighting what Don King was for boxing.
(Photo: Courtesy of the RSPCA)
Posted by jwoestendiek September 9th, 2009 under Muttsblog.
Tags: abuse, bbc, claire parker, court, cruelty, dog, dogfighting, dogs, england, farmer boys, fighting, investigation, ireland, law, lincolnshire, northern, operation, raid, ring, rspca, steve ibinson, trial, undercover, united kingdom
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.
Posted by jwoestendiek July 8th, 2009 under Muttsblog.
Tags: 30 arrests, animal welfare, arrests, aspca, dogfighting, five, gregg county, humane society of missouri, illinois, investigation, iowa, largest, missouri, oklahoma, operation, panola county, raid, states, texas
Amelia Loran lost her dog last week. Snowy didn’t die, or run away. The Maltese mix, injured when run over by a bicyclist, just started accumulating more medical bills than her family could bear.
I’ll let Amelia, who wrote me yesterday, tell the story.
“Hi my name is Amelia Loran. I’m from the Bronx. I am 14 and I had a dog. Her name was Snowy. She was a white long fluffy dog. She was like my other half.
“The accident that happened with my dog, it was a warm sunny Sunday and me and my mom and two cousins were on our way 2 the park so my mom parked the car. We didn’t want 2 be in the jungle gym area. We wanted 2 be in open space where we could run, play, jump.
“So Snowy was on her leash but we let her go so she could be free a little bit, and there was this kid riding his bike in the open space and he ran over her right limb.
(Amelia’s mother, Myra Loran, drove to an animal hospital, and paid for the first vet bill, $629, with credit. She worked out a payment plan for the second one, $275, as well. But the cost of the surgery vets said was still needed — estimated at anywhere from $1,000 to $3,000 – was more than she could handle.)
“So my mom had 2 give Snowy up for adoption,” wrote Amelia, whose last night with the dog was last Thursday.
“So Thursday was a night 2 remember. She had a white and blue cast. Me and my mom put on her blue and white pajamas 2 match her blue cast and me and my mom slept together with her … Friday it was a rainy morning so me and my mom went to the humane society and gave Snowy to the adoption agency. I was so sad that I couldn’t say goodbye to her. The ride from my house to where we took Snowy was the longest ride ever. I cried the whole night before that morning and I was crying thru the night. I still cry. When me and my mom go outside I feel like I’m missing a big part in my heart and I feel like I’m forgetting something…
“I have cystic fibrosis and I’m at home most of the time and she was like my twin. I am a only child. My mom works side jobs, babysitting, washing clothes, taxi, to get me extra stuff. I get SSI. So in the daytime I’m home taking meds. I miss lots of school days because of my disease. Snowy keeps me company. She loves to get dressed and lay down and look cute as you see in the pictures. And she is not too active. With my CF I really am not 2 active. We just got her a month ago, but it feels like I been with her my hole life.
“I do not understand why I had to give up my bestfriend because we didn’t have $3000. I had a make a wish about 5 years ago. I went to Florida, and if I can have that gift, I would ask for Snowy. My mom tries to do her best to try and make my life easier because she knows I’m going to need a transplant in the near future.”
(Myra Loran says she now wishes they hadn’t surrendered the dog — even though it would have meant going even deeper in debt. She says she has tried to call the humane society to get updated on the dog’s condition, but her calls haven’t been returned. Amelia’s also an artist. The work to the left was exhibited in 2007 by ArtWorks, a program that provides children and young adults suffering from chronic and life-threatening illnesses access to creative and performing arts.)
Amelia, meanwhile, is holding out hope that Snowy, after she gets her needed surgery, will be put up for adoption – and that maybe she can get her back then. If so, she’d never let the leash out of her hand again, she says. “I swear not to ever let go when we are at the park.”
Amelia’s email address is email@example.com.
Her mother’s is firstname.lastname@example.org.
Posted by jwoestendiek June 16th, 2009 under Muttsblog.
Tags: amelia loran, artist, bronx, cystic fibrosis, disease, dog, girl, injured, maltese, mhra loran, money, operation, snowy, surgery, surrendered
Michael Vick spent his first day back home Thursday getting fitted for an electronic ankle monitor, hosting a backyard barbecue for friends and family, and preparing for his new job as a $10 an hour construction worker.
The former Atlanta Falcons quarterback, convicted of financing a dogfighting operation, served 19 months of his 23-month sentence in prison. He’ll serve two more at home, then be officially released from federal custody on July 20.
Posted by jwoestendiek May 22nd, 2009 under Muttsblog, videos.
Tags: construction worker, custody, dogfighting, federal, football, home, michael vick, monitor, monitoring, nfl, operation, prison, quarterback, released, ring, sentence, vick, virginia