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Tag: ring

Dogs Deserve Better closes on Vick house

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.

Dogfighters raided in Philadelphia

20 Arrests In Dog-Fighting Ring Bust: MyFoxPHILLY.com

Two raids in as many days led to the seizure of about 20 dogs and the arrests of what Philadelphia police and the Pennsylvania SPCA say were some of the the leaders of one of the city’s largest dog-fighting rings.

In this morning’s raid, in the 2800 block of Boundinot Street in Kensington, at least a dozen dogs were rescued, the Philadelphia Inquirer reported.

In a raid last night in South Philadelphia, about 20 people were arrested when authorities broke up a dog fight in progress, according to Fox News.

“When we entered the property, the dogs were actually engaged in a fight in a ring in the front bedroom of this property,” said the PSPCA’s head of investigations, George Bengal. “This was a fairly large operation. These gentlemen have been on our radar for quite some time for dog fighting. This is literally months and months of investigation work that resulted in this arrest tonight.”

“Some of the biggest fighters in the city are here,”  Bengal, said.

PSPCA officals called the home in the 2600 block of Garrett Street, in the city’s Gray’s Ferry section, a “house of horrors.”

33 dogs seized in N.C. dog fighting raid

What’s believed to have been one of the top five dog fighting operations in the country was raided Tuesday morning, and 33 pit bulls were seized.

The Duplin County Sheriff’s Department in North Carolina discovered equipment used to train dogs for fighting and a dog fighting ring during the raid at a home in Mount Olive, WECT in Wilmington reported.

Authorities arrested the home’s owner, Harry Hargrove, 76.

“This gentleman has been known as one of the top five dog-fighting operations in the United States,” according to Anna Ware, with Atlanta-based security firm Norred & Associates who assisted in the raid.

“We have evidence to support that its probably been a 40-year operation,” said Miguel Abi-Hassan, of the Atlanta Humane Society, which deployed an animal rescue team and a trailer to help evaluate and treat the dogs before transporting them to an undisclosed location.

The dogs found at the home were trained to fight and some are worth as much as $10,000 in the underground ring, investigators said.

Two veterinarians checked and treated each animal seized. Most of the dogs had scarring consistent with dog fighting, Abi-Hassan said.

Confidential leads from a tip line sponsored by Norred led to the raid.

Groomer cleared of animal cruelty charges

Baltimore County prosecutors have quietly dropped the dogfighting and animal cruelty charges leveled against three occupants of a townhouse in North Point, one of whom cared for and groomed dogs at a local doggie day care facility.

Police, after the January arrest, held a press conference showing off evidence they had seized and contending both a dogfighting and drug dealing operation were based in the home on Lange Street.

Now police have dropped all charges related to mistreating dogs against Nicole Marie Caruso, 26, and her two housemates. 

According to a Baltimore Sun article, State’s Attorney Adam Lippe said veterinarians disagreed with the police conclusion that pit bulls Dutch, Whezzy, Lucia, Bruno, Gotti and Kane were used for fights. The dogs — some owned by Caruso, others by her roommates — were all spayed or neutered and healthy, though some displayed aggressive tendencies.

Defense attorney, Brian G. Thompson, said police were overzealous in their investigation and unfairly dragged his client, Caruso, a respected dog groomer “through the mud in public as some kind of Michael Vick character.”

Caruso, who was active in animal rescue, still faces drug and theft charges as do her housemates.

Bill Link, owner of SoBo Dog Day Care in Locust Point, where Caruso worked for six months, said this week that he would wait until all the charges are adjudicated before deciding whether to bring Caruso back to work.

Caruso, meanwhile, said on her Facebook page: “To everyone that has supported me, THANK YOU!! my most exciting news to report is … the cops had to admit they were wrong about dog fighting. … They put me through the ringer and now who is going to announce on the news that they lied ??????”

Caruso’s dogs are now at a shelter, but her attorney said they won’t be destroyed and she might get them all back.

Wedding ring found in folds of dog food bag

A Tennessee couple found more than kibble when they lugged a bag of dog food home from the pet store this week.

Within the bag’s creases was a wedding ring.

Krista Berg of Murfreesboro called the manufacturer, then the pet store, where she found the ring’s rightful owner, employee Mike Stoddard, who’d apparently lost it while stocking shelves at the Murfreesboro PetMart.

The couple returned the ring to him, according to News Channel 5.

Day care center also used for dogfighting

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.

Trial opens in Britain for accused dogfighters

rspcadogGrisly 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)

At home with Michael Vick

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.

N.C. dogfighting operation shut down

Authorities seized 127 dogs from an apparent dogfighting operation in western North Carolina and arrested the man who wrote the book on raising fighting dogs — or at least a book.

Officials of the Humane Society of the United States said Thursday that three arrests were made during the raid at Wildside Kennels in McGrady, N.C., which was the culmination of a three-year  investigation by the Wilkes County Sheriff’s Office, Wilkes County Animal Control agency and HSUS.

One of the men arrested, Wildside Kennels owner Ed Faron, is a known pit bull breeder and an influential figure in underground dogfighting, HSUS said. He co-wrote The Complete Gamedog: A Guide to Breeding and Raising the American Pit Bull Terrier, which includes graphic, supposedly fictional accounts of dogfight injuries.

More information about the kennel can be found on its website.

Faron and the other two men were each charged with felony counts of dogfighting and baiting; additional charges are pending.

Authorities found suspected dogfighting paraphernalia on the property and seized 127 dogs. Several dogs had scars consistent with dogfighting, according to an HSUS report.

“The raid of this suspected dogfighting operation is the culmination of an extensive investigation, and dogfighters everywhere should worry that they could be next,” said Chris Schindler, deputy manager of animal fighting law enforcement for HSUS.

It is a felony to possess a dog for the purpose of dogfighting in North Carolina. Those involved in illegal dogfighting can receive four to 10 months in prison.

(Photo: Ed Faron, from Wildside Kennels myspace page)

Vick pleads guilty to state dogfighting charge

Michael Vick pleaded guilty today to a state dogfighting charge, and apologized to ”the court, my family, and to all the kids who looked up to me as a role model.”

The former NFL quarterback pleaded guilty to one charge and not guilty to a second count that was then dropped. While conviction of the charge carries a maximum five-year sentence, Vick was given a three-year suspended sentence, according to the Associated Press.

By pleading guilty to the one charge, Vick became eligible for early release from prison and a possible return to the NFL. Federal law prohibits prisoners from being released to a halfway house if there are unresolved charges pending against them.

Vick, 28, already is serving a 23-month sentence in Leavenworth, Kan. for a federal dogfighting conviction. He’s scheduled for release on July 20, 2009, and will serve three years of probation.

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