What is believed to be the largest dogfighting operation in U.S. history was raided yesterday in an effort that included federal and state agencies, with the ASPCA® (American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals®) assisting. More than 350 dogs were seized after an investigation into dogfighting across five states.
An investigation into dogfighting across five states has resulted in federal charges against 19 people says the U.S. Department of Justice.
Indictments unsealed in Missouri, Illinois and Texas detailed gambling rings in which owners bred and trained dogs to fight, then killed them if the animals were badly wounded or failed to perform as desired, according to separate Justice Department statements issued in Missouri and Illinois.
Some of the suspects allegedly served as referees for fights, while others were accused of being “sponge-men” who wiped off blood and cooled down dogs during matches, one of the statements said.
What kind of dogs were used?
You guessed it. Primarily pit bull terriers.
Seven idiots… suspects from Missouri, Nebraska and Iowa will face a variety of charges including conspiracy, illegal gambling and bookmaking. Each of the five counts in the indictment carries a maximum sentence of five years imprisonment without parole and a maximum fine of $250,000.
“The indictment alleges that the defendants denied the dogs adequate and humane medical treatment of wounds and injuries suffered as a result of the dogfights,” the statement said. “The defendants routinely and inhumanely destroyed dogs that became severely injured as a result of a fight, the indictment says, by shooting the dogs in the head, then throwing the carcasses into the river or burning them in a barrel.”
Listen to this. According to a statement, one of the accused works for a state school for the handicapped, another is a registered nurse at a Missouri community hospital and a third works for a school district.
The ASPCA issued this statement.
SPCA Media Contact
NEW YORK —What is believed to be the largest dogfighting operation in U.S. history was raided early Wednesday in an effort that included federal and state agencies, with the ASPCA® (American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals®) assisting.
At the request of the Humane Society of Missouri, the ASPCA, along with the Missouri State Highway Patrol, United States Department of Agriculture’s Office of the Inspector General, Federal Bureau of Investigation, The U.S. Marshals Service and the United States Attorney, is collaborating in the rescue, veterinary care, and forensics evidence collection of dogs associated with multiple suspected dogfighting operations. The ASPCA will also be assisting in behavior evaluations of the dogs.
The dogfighting operation is believed to have spanned six states and included arrests in Missouri, Illinois, Iowa, Texas, Oklahoma and Arkansas. Dogs are being safely transported to a secure facility under the direction of the Humane Society of Missouri Animal Cruelty Task Force, where they will be cared for until final disposition is determined by the United States District Court.
“The ASPCA is determined to protect its nation’s pets from dogfighting and other forms of brutality” said ASPCA President and CEO Ed Sayres. “Animal cruelty cannot be tolerated, and we are proud to lend our support to federal and local agencies to ensure that these abusers are brought to justice.”
The ASPCA is collecting evidence for the prosecution of the criminal case, as well as lending the services of its special forensic cruelty investigation team, comprised of disaster animal rescuers, field service investigators, and Dr. Melinda Merck, the nation’s premier forensic veterinarian. More than a dozen responders from the ASPCA’s Disaster Response team are in the field, along with the ASPCA’s “Mobile Animal Crime Scene Investigation (CSI) Unit,” a critical tool in the collection and processing of evidence at crime scenes. The CSI unit brings both state-of-the-art forensics tools and expertise to crime scenes and is outfitted with medical equipment tailored for animal patients.
“The ASPCA’s Mobile Animal CSI unit is an important component in the effort against animal cruelty,” said Laura Maloney, Senior Vice President of Anti-Cruelty Initiatives for the ASPCA. “This technology allows the ASPCA to strengthen cases against animal abusers and seek justice for their victims.”
Hey dog torturers- you are indeed the scum of the earth!